1. Ahryn

    Ahryn New Member

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    How much of the truth should I be using?

    Discussion in 'Short Stories' started by Ahryn, Sep 27, 2017.

    This is my first post on the forum so I hope I'm doing this right!

    I was wondering if anyone knew what the best practice is for writing a piece of fiction that is based off true events. To be more specific, I was inspired by a story I heard about the mysterious death of a woman up in the islands surrounding Scotland back in the 1920s. She was said to have been mixed up in various occult sects etc. and this has prompted speculation that this may have led to her demise.

    The story got my creative juices flowing and I decided to start writing a short story based off what happened. However, I'm now unsure what the best practice is for writing such a piece of work ( I normally write fantasy so I don't experience these sorts of complications). Should I change the names of the characters so they do not match their real life counterparts? Should I also change the name of the island where the incident took place?

    I've done a bit of research into the case and nobody seems quite sure what is truth and what is myth, even down to the names of the people involved.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated :)
     
  2. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin A tombstone hand and a graveyard mind Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If it's fiction borrow whatever you like and make the rest up. Whatever makes the story better. "Based on true events" can mean anything... the only real standard is whether the "true" story is recognizable enough for inconsistencies or creative liberties to be an issue. It doesn't sound like that's the case with your story, but it could be. You don't want to offend the spirit of the story if you don't have to, but real life tends to be very boring (until it isn't), and even the most exciting true stories require quite a bit of embellishment to fit inside a compelling narrative.

    I would avoid using real names. It just makes everything easier.
     
    Ahryn likes this.

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