Unbelievable! Casting Truth as Fiction

“Getting it right and getting it out in the world were two completely different things.”

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

Cheryl Diane Kidder explores the difficulty of turning true events into fiction, and how some truths, like those in her recent Brevity essay “Cut,” want to be told in the nonfiction form:

The hardest thing about writing “Cut” was getting it into a form that both got the facts of what happened, or what I was able to recall, and how my thought processes were working at the same time. That, and waiting until my daughter was old enough to listen to the whole story. My daughter is 24 now so I’ve been trying to get this right on paper for about 23 and a half years.

I wrote several versions of these events in third person, pushing the story out and away from me, claiming it only as fiction, certainly nothing I would have personally gone through. Trouble there is, presenting the piece as fiction in a fiction…

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