What Makes it True?

Just got back from following a link that the folks at Hunger Mountainposted on Facebook. It’s a post from Patrick Ross‘ blog called “What Drives Some Memoirists from Truth to Fiction.” In it Ross explores the gray area between truth and truthiness. He touches on the contradictory pressures of telling a good story in the best possible way and the ethics of recreating an incident as accurately as possible.

Perhaps most useful are the three rules he advises the memoirist to follow when navigating the treacherous terrain of a personal story that might be painful to relate:

1. Believe in your story.

2. Rely on your writing to maximize its impact rather than exaggeration.

3. Write not out of revenge but out of love.