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It’s suggested authors and writers are to write about things they know. Some compose memoirs, an account of events from their authentic life, and others create an artificial world out of their imagination. Even an imagined world has elements from an authentic life, no matter how small. So where do authors draw the line of distinction between reality and fiction? The answer would depend if the author is writing fiction or a memoir. A fictional work could take place in a real-world location, however, the characters, if based on real living individuals, the author would change the characteristics of the real-life individuals, so the reader can not identify the characters to the real-life people they are writing about. Authors can be sued for libel, defamation, and/or slander. To get around this obstacle authors use a little trick; a colloquial term, a euphemism to denote distortion of fact called: artistic license, where elements of reality and fiction become blurred in a way which masks the true elements of reality.
I had to decide if I would write my new manuscript as a memoir, or as a work of fiction? The premise of both manuscripts would center on a specific set of circumstances from real-world events. So, could I tell the story better as a memoir or as fiction? If I wrote a memoir, there would be key parts of the real-world story which would not be included in the manuscript, due to possible legal ramifications. However, if I composed a fictional manuscript, retaining key components of the story was possible. Real-world facts within fictional elements (artistic license) would be retained without worry of reprisal or possible legal repercussion. I decided to write a story based on actual real-world events in the form of a fictional novel, tentatively entitled: Clipped Wings.
A tale of a zealous authoritarian high school administrator exploits his position to break Shane Davison’s teen spirit, unaware of the Pandora’s box he has unintentionally opened. The administrator’s unrestrained actions set into motion a chain of events which no one expected, in this early 1970’s narrative, told from Shane’s teenage perspective. Shane takes the reader into his confidence to reveal a nightmare of biased victimization in a small, ultra-conservative, north Oklahoma town. A true, honest-to-goodness southern literary fictional novel, inspired by actual events being written by Dale Thele.
So, how blurred are the lines between reality vs. fiction in Clipped Wings? The manuscript is a current work in progress, but I can assure you, the story line blurs repeatedly into murky gray areas of artistic license.