Truth in Fiction or Fiction in Truth?

I’ve been working on a short story, as I often do when I find myself stumped with my larger work in progress.  It’s going rather well and I will very most likely enter this new short story into a contest. It’s going so well in fact that I suspect that it will form a part of a much more in depth piece that I’m slowly plugging away at… a memoir… of sorts.

I’ve read that the difference between a memoir and an autobiography is artistic licence. I like those words; artistic licence.

What I’m struggling with is where the line between artistic licence and just plain old fashioned untruths is… or I guess I should say fiction. Right?

This particular story is based on a real life event which I recall with great fondness, and clarity. The problem is the real story isn’t nearly as funny as the one I’m spinning. Mostly I’m fine with that, but I’ve picked on a few people who maybe don’t totally deserve it, simply because it made the story flow more smoothly… and of course more humorously!

So do I keep calling it my life story and risk offending a few family members (alright it’s actually my big brother and a few cousins!) or do I alter it sufficiently to protect the innocent?

Just thinking out loud.


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