Creative Non-Fiction Ethics

Illustration depicting cutout printed letters arranged to form the words fact not fiction.
Illustration depicting cutout printed letters arranged to form the words fact not fiction.

I am currently putting together the pieces to a memoir of my family. My mom was an avid ancestry.com user. When she passed away last year, I inherited all of the information she printed out. I have binders and binders of information from relatives from centuries ago. As exciting as all of this is, it comes with a few if not an insurmountable bevvie of issues and stressors. I have a hard enough time recounting what I did yesterday, so to work on a history of folks that I did not even know from the year 1792 will require a massive amount of fact checking and creativity.

I have had to create my own set of ground rules in writing creative non-fiction with this particular project. I need to remain open and honest with my audience in the fact that I am basing my memoir/biography on historical facts and the word of others, plain and simple. I am also going to be taking a long and hard look at the resources available to me to determine whether it is in fact legitimate. This will involve fact checking, travel, time, etc. In other words I want to be as accurate as possible. And finally, I need to be patient in understanding that I am only one person trying to put together something mammoth. I like to make lists and check items off quickly and this task at hand is definately not going to be easy or quick.

I am honestly EXTREMELY excited about this project, but am also stressed out as well. It is going to be a long process, but one that I am taking up with great abandon!

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Creative Non-Fiction Ethics

One thought on “Creative Non-Fiction Ethics

  1. Laura says:

    I think it is important for someone in the family to write the stories. Good luck with your project. Thank you for following my blog. I have a photo blog and I recently started a writing blog. The followers for both blogs seem to be all mixed together.

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