I have several volunteers proofreading the revised edition of Boyhood Adventures. It is a book of fiction based on true-life experiences. Recently, one of those volunteers asked me about a particular event described in the book. The person asked, “Did that part really happen?”
I have learned to be prudent when responding to this particular question. It appears that readers – even proofreaders – can be somewhat passionate in their feelings about events being represented in a book composed of aggrandized memories. Beyond logic, certain facets of the story become important to them. They want a certain part to be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Learning that their favorite element of the story is fictional can be deflating, disappointing, or even discouraging. So, in light of this recurring observation, I have adopted certain specific, strategic response options:
Option One: “I’ll let you be the judge of that.”
Or I might respond with: “What do you think?”
I might also say, “Well, it’s in the book for a reason.”
My strategic response may be deemed deceptive or unethical by writers who don’t concern themselves with varied emotional responses to a work of fiction. But persons familiar with the science of Personality Analysis will understand what it means to have a Personalysis rating that is 90% yellow. A creative writer with a “yellow” Personalysis rating is a people pleaser. He wants you to have a warm and fuzzy feeling as you read his work. Above all, he wants his reader to feel satisfied with the story being read. He wants the reader to feel as one who has just eaten the best and most memorable meal of a lifetime.
So, when readers ask if a certain specific thing happened the way I described it in my book, I will most likely be heard to say, “Absolutely.”