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Fictionalizing Between-the-Lines

Published by Fife in the blog Fife's blog. Views: 149

My parents were refugees to the United States. I have always thought their story was a fascinating one, especially the unspoken story that's in between-the-lines (and it will probably always remain unspoken). I think, as their child, there's a lot of things they probably will never tell me. And, unfortunately, I don't have the advantage of having a loose-lipped aunt or uncle with stories to tell (or perhaps I do--I guess it really depends on how I play my cards).

Well, the truth is, I think Western prose and American story-writing champions a very gritty, genuine, and realistic truth--be it taboo or righteous. Being a product of this country (I was born here), part of that is infused in my blood. You may think, "Gosh, what story is not like that?" Well, in my culture, people tell stories like Grim Brother's Fairy Tale--I'm completely being honest here. Certainly there was a reason why a wolf would devise a ruse (one in which he lured Red to a bedside); certainly, there would have been much easier ways if he simply wanted to eat her. I think the Western audience (at least Hollywood) has tried to address these questions (at least in my humble opinion) in blundered movie productions. In the case of my culture, people prefer the luxurious spaces in between-the-lines to save face--or perhaps the idea of coming up with one's own ethical judgment is more entertaining (because I know for sure people like to come up with their own interpretations in private).

I think the practical question that I ask myself is this: should I write a fictional story loosely based on my parent's story simply because I will probably be tempted to fill in between-the-lines? And if I do fictionalize between-the-lines, does it then require that I fictionalize everything else completely? And do I lose out on an opportunity to write an otherwise fascinating non-fiction story? Hmmm. It's a tough call.
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