Nonfiction vs Fiction: The Challenges of Writing in the Genre
Contributor
Written by
Nino Gugunishvili
December 2019
Contributor
Written by
Nino Gugunishvili
December 2019

      Writing about yourself is tricky. Reviving your own experiences, digging deep into your past, bringing out those memories is both fun, and difficult, enjoyable and sometimes emotionally daunting. Writing about real things, real people, real events, makes you more vulnerable in a way, since you're sharing personal stories, and even intimate details.  In the process of writing my collection of short stories - You Will Have a Black Labrador," I came across several challenges. First, was the fact, that in terms of a genre, it wasn't a pure fiction, rather it was a nonfiction or creative nonfiction, with some autobiographical elements involved. Not everything was entirely true, but not everything was invented either, so it was difficult to name and define the genre of the book. 

    Secondly, I realized that even if some of the stories I wrote were more fictionalized than others, contrary to my previous experience with writing women's fiction, in You Will Have a Black Labrador,  it was a single, first person narrative, in which whether I wanted it or not, I appeared as a character, and to a certain point there was no room to interfere. In a sense, I couldn't bring more characters than there were already, I couldn't invent the whole plot from a scratch, since the autobiographical part was  involved. The canvas of the story existed as if it was a template, and I only had to fill in the colors, the smells, the memories, whether invented and reinvented, parts of the narrative existed side by side, merged, and morfed into each other. 

    The third challenge  was to avoid too much of sentimentalisms when writing  stories that were a bit more personal and true. On the other hand, I didn't want to sound neither too sarcastic nor too serious, so the entire writing was like walking on the edge,  trying hard  to balance and not to fall, not to fail, not to fake. 

  I guess, the writer's  part of the game is finished for now, now it' s to the readers, to their bookshelves, and kindles, and I hope they'll find something relatable, something enjoyable, something to think about while reading it.    

 

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