To be (true) or not to be (true)….That is the question….

So the weather was beautiful today, & I was desperately searching for any kind of distraction, so I decided to pull out the old story and get to work.

I took my lunch and laptop and settled onto the porch for the afternoon.  The pollen has started falling leaving a blanket of yellow on everything, but I didn’t mind.  I also had some company!


I’m having a lot of trouble deciding the pace, tone, and overall flow for my story.  I’m also having trouble with the idea of whether or not to use real names.  I’m torn because on one side I think my audience will appreciate it’s reality while on the other hand I’m afraid of the circumstances that can come from using real names.  I know that I’ve toyed with the idea of having the story be a “series” rather than just one long book, but again, I don’t know which direction to take it in.  
It’s times like these that I desperately miss being in writing classes.  I enjoyed being surrounded by others who write all the time & having a published author of novels himself lead our class.  Our classes grew to be very intimate over the years because we were always all in the same class with the same professor, so we ultimately “grew” together and got to watch each writer’s progress.  My class learned my flavor and style and was able to give me advice knowing my actual direction.  I miss that.
I guess I’ll share my struggles & see if I can’t remedy them on my own.  If any of you have any suggestions, please feel free to share.  The main story line is the drama that unfolded in the course of my relationship with Jonathan & his mother.  I’m certainly using a “true” story as the guideline for this piece, however, I haven’t completely made up my mind whether or not to add in some fiction to mask the reality and amp up the story.  Of course this is a huge decision that must be made before moving any further with the story.
As of right now I’ve used a few real names & have resorted to using simply the first initial of the main character’s names.  As for the narrator (myself, essentially),  I have decided to change the name.  I kind of like the idea of using only the first initial for the main characters.  It allows me to leave some of the truth intact while adding a little bit of flavor & mystery to the story line.  
They story starts with somewhat of a “prologue.”  In this I describe what I once believed to be true love.  I also uncover the “background” to the relationship (i.e. the pursuit & the unwavering avoidance).  From there, however, I’m not quite sure where to take it.  I’m struggling with how in depth I should go.  To me, the whole story is interesting simply because it’s my life–but I have to keep in mind that I don’t want to bore my audience with every little detail and risk losing their attention.
Going back to the “series” idea, I kind of like the idea of maybe having one book for the start of our relationship, another for the development of our relationship (i.e. college), and a final for our engagement (which is obviously still in the future).  With the idea for a series, however, I more than likely HAVE to use the “based on a true story” method with lots of fiction added in.  I will have to give the supporting characters more depth & their own story lines (which I’m fine with doing), but I just have to make a decision.
Any thoughts?
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About JoElizabeth

I am a writer who loves to explore all different types of relationships. I am most happy when surrounded by my loved ones and furry children. I've never met a stranger, and I talk way too much. My favorite things to do are eat {preferably at a restaurant} with good friends, write, watch DVDs of TV series {especially FRIENDS}, drink lots of coffee and learn.
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