Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Am I Too Nice?

There's a thread on AW asking if you worry about hurting people's feelings with your book. It's posted in the Novels forum so most likely those writers are all writing fiction, but with memoir that's a common concern.

As I'm going through yet another round of edits there's only one passage that sticks out in my mind as being possibly offensive. Well, not offensive - the person it's about will most likely agree with what I've said - but I worry about hurting anyone's feelings. I don't paint people in rainbowey primary colors, but I try to be fair.

I do fear repercussions from one individual (some of you already know who) but that concern I'm tucking away until I'm sitting at a table with my publisher and their lawyer. As those are all imaginary for the time being, I haven't lost any sleep. I've been told by already published memoirists that the best plan of attack is just to write your story as you want to write it and worry about lawsuits later.

I know that the person I think I might offend would never sue me over one line in my book (well, one paragraph) but I don't want to hurt her feelings.

Ahh, the pain we suffer for our art.

6 comments:

Dawn said...

If I remember correctly, I think there's a similar thread in the Memoirs section. :D

And I agree wholeheartedly. I know there are some things I don't post on my blog for that reason.

My family? I don't worry so much. I'd consider myself fortunate if they read anything I wrote! :)

Mary B said...

I'm just jealous of anyone whose had anything interesting IRL enough to write about. Heh.

But I do self-censor quite a bit on my blog for just that reason. I'd dearly love to b!tch about my job, but I don't. It isn't worth the possible repercussions.

Melanie Avila said...

There are things I don't mention here, although it may not seem like it. I've left some things out of my book that deeply affected me because it makes a family member look awful.

Would it be a better story with it? Perhaps, but that would damage the relationship and I'm not willing to push it that far.

brokenfingers said...

Is it me? It isn’t me, is it? Oh my God, it’s me isn’t it. I know it – it’s definitely me.

Why, oh why does this always happen to me? Why am I so misunderstood? Why do—

Oh, I just noticed you said “she”.

Heh… Never mind.

Kristine said...

Ah, Brokenfingers beat me to the punch! Hey, wait, I am a she...is it me?

I don't think my butt would fit on the bicycle seat, so you're lucky. I guess I need to start back at the gym, yuck. Hopefully, the walks with Bruno will help!

Melanie Avila said...

LOL, no it's not you but you do make a few appearances. :)

I was on the metal rack & trying to hold on to the seat - you would've fit on there just fine. I haven't been subjected to it again but we need to put a towel down or something to protect my delicate derriere.