Sunday, November 1, 2009

Naming Names

I'm working on a personal essay right now which I like. It's almost finished. I'm feeling like the next thing I need to do, before I can make any home-stretch-type edits, is change the names of all the people in it, who are of course real people. Doing this is standard practice in nonfiction writing for a lot of reasons, legal and literary and not-feelings-hurting. I imagine nonfiction writers (I think of myself as primarily a fiction writer) re-name their people at the beginning of the essay-creation process so they don't have to go through this painful step later. I'm a little wet behind the ears on this and gotta say, I'm finding it hard to change these names of these people I like so much both in the narrative and in real life. But I look forward to the freedom the resulting narrative distance will very likely afford me.

That was a very nerdy thing to talk about.

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Since I was delinquent in Bipolar Glass of Iced Tea last Monday, I am posting a BPGOIT today. And will do another tomorrow, if all goes as planned.

7 comments:

prof.janeczko said...

@BPGIT you are a bloody genius, you know that?

Amanda said...

Thank you kindly Professor J.!

Riz said...

Stephen Fry, in passing, mentions a writer's trick in his biography, "Moab Is My Washpot". You can transpose the names of people and places to ficitonalize them or come up with names, i.e., name a place using a person's name (surname), and vice versa.

Ben K. said...

How do you know when you're done with a piece?

Amanda said...

If I can read it straight through and enjoy the whole thing without stopping to change it, then I start sending it out. Funny, I never realized that before, but that's how I know.

E.L.Splice said...

Yes— I laughed. Not easy these days!

Mark Reep said...

Good stuff!