1. Inspired writer
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    Inspired writer Member

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    How about a fictional autobiography?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Inspired writer, Jan 29, 2012.

    How does anyone feel about writing an autobiography on a fictional character?
    The original idea were to set it out like an actual autobiography but the mc is entirely fictional. I wasn't sure if it'll take. It seemed a little too out there. But I did quite like the idea.
    Loosely base the mc around people who inspire you the most without breaching any copyrights obviously. haha.
     
  2. LVOS18
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    LVOS18 Member

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    Isn't that just a first person novel about someone's entire life rather than a section of it? Nothing too strange about that.

    Or do you mean stylistically? That would be quite cool I suppose. Depends how you wrote it. When I think of other autobiographies people describe their births etc in quite some detail near the beginning, stuff like that might struggle to engage a reader who isn't immediately interested in the person as they are when reading a real autobiography.

    Try it.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If the idea inspires you, write it.

    But remember that the market is for stories, not for the techniques you use to tell them.
     
  4. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I don't see why not.

    Didn't David Copperfield do that as well? He starts off with his birth, then he moves throughout his life.
     
  5. TheIllustratedMan
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    TheIllustratedMan Active Member

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    Forrest Gump.

    It all depends on how you do it. Make it interesting, and there will be a market for it.
     
  6. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    I always wonder what the purpose of an autobiography is.
    I understand that it is about one's life upbringing/experiences and achievements.
    One feels the need to share it with others is fine but what I am not so sure about here is how much of it is truth and how much of it is ficition.
    What I am trying to say is this:
    If I were to read someone's autobiography I will definetely be wondering about wether all of it is truth or fictional.
    I would not be able to tell and so that would annoy me because all Ihave is me relying on the writer which is not enough to me.
    On this basis I am not keen reading other people's lives and I am not keen on disclosing mine either in case I was accused of making it up.
    So to answer your question I think if it is ficitional it is perfectly fine but to call it an autobiography would not be adequate.
    Maybe call it something else.:)
     
  7. Amphigory
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    Amphigory Member

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    I put the "mania" in Tasmanian!
    Yup! I know I've seen a book like that before, but I can't for the life of me remember what the title is...

    I say go for it! No problems with using that format that I can see.
     
  8. jc.
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    jc. Contributing Member

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    Cacian: I don't know about stuff being completely made up, but I'm pretty sure a lot of it has been embellished.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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  10. Inspired writer
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    Inspired writer Member

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    Well it was only an idea. Another to take off the list. haha.
     
  11. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    I think it's a fine idea. Little Women did pretty well.
     
  12. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    There's nothing new under the sun. All that matters is how you treat that concept.
     
  13. Inspired writer
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    Inspired writer Member

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    Thanks Joanna.
    But originally the idea was to write in the style of an autobiography not an actual story.
    I thought it might have been a good way to loosely write about an important role model in one's life and maybe express how they inspire you through fiction. Celebrate the inspiration perhaps without sounding too over the top.
    But was just another fleeting idea. Was a shame though to find it had been done before. Many times. But oh well...
     
  14. Blueflare
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    Blueflare Member

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    Everything's been done before. That doesn't mean you can't do it again, your own way with your own character.
     
  15. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    As others have said, there is no such thing as a completely new idea. These concepts endure because they speak to the human condition. You can write an autobiographical novel without rewriting Little Women. You can write a murder mystery without rewriting Ten Little Indians. You can write a historical novel that uses an archeological dig as the touchstone for introducing different eras without rewriting The Source. My advice is to write what you want to write and do it as well as you can, and don't worry about who has done what before (just be careful not to nick someone else's work).
     
  16. TheIllustratedMan
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    TheIllustratedMan Active Member

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    Agreed. And thank you for not using that PC And Then There Were None nonsense. It's not even grammatically correct. Sheesh. :D
    (Of course, even Ten Little Indians isn't the proper name for that book...)
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    actually, the original minstrel show tune written in 1868 by septimus winner, was titled, '10 little injuns'... the 'n' word was substituted for 'injuns' a year later, and became a standard of the 'blackface' minstrel shows... christie unwisely used the new title for her novel, which the publishers then changed to 'and then there were none' a year later, in 1940...

    i'm curious... how do you see that as 'not even grammatically correct'?...
     
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  18. Anniexo
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    I'm not sure if these are good books to make reference's too but Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat seem to be written like autobiographies. both by Anne Rice, and I'm sure her other books linked to these two are written in the same way. Another fictional book written like an autobiography I would point out is '
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time' by Mark Haddon
     
  19. TheIllustratedMan
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    It should be "And then there was none." None was there.

    But mostly I was using false outrage as humor. :D
     
  20. Inspired writer
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    Inspired writer Member

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    I didn't even realise 'Interview with the vampire' was based on a novel. Only known it as a film. Any good? Worth reading? P.s. Again I appreciate all the feedback. I might give it a go and see how it blossoms.
     
  21. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Sorry, but in context, "none" is referring to a countable entity (people), so "were" is correct. On the other hand, if you were referring to a continuously measurable entity, such as water, "was" would be correct.
     
  22. Anniexo
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    Anniexo Member

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    If you like the film, you'll most likely enjoy the book.
     
  23. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I remember reading Interview With the Vampire many years ago, right after my sister read it. She handed me the book held between thumb and forefinger. I asked what she thought of it (she has a degree in English and classical studies). She said "Fetid."

    I read it and agreed with her. The prose is damp, swampy, and unpleasant. I kept wondering if I was catching some kind of fungus-based disease as I was reading it.
     
  24. TheIllustratedMan
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    TheIllustratedMan Active Member

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    Way off topic to the main post, but:

    I was always taught that "none" is always singular, and essentially means "not one". So "There was not one
    ." However, I just did some research on it, and it turns out that "none" has been used as a singular and a plural for a very long time. Various sources are telling me that it can mean "not one" or "not any", or both, depending on the context.
    In the context that we're discussing, "And then there were none," you could use either "were" or "was", depending on if you're meaning to say "And then there was not one [person left]" or "And then there were not any [people left]".

    So, I will cede the point, the title is grammatically correct, with the caveat that it could also be written with "was", and that nowhere can I find the countable/measurable rule like you would follow with fewer/less or number/amount. I'd be happy to entertain the possibility if there's a reference to it somewhere.

    ...aaaaaand resume thread. :D
     
  25. Inspired writer
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    Sounds wonderful minstrel. I'll definately have to give it a bash after that review. haha. I've already seen the movie anyway so there's no point.
     

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