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How much fiction when recounting a true story?

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I am trying to write a PB based on actual events.  The story is about an animal hero.  I wanted to do the book from the animals' POV.  This has led to the animals talking and having thoughts and feelings, that, obviously, can't be substantiated.  So how creative can I be with a true story?  Would this be creative non-fiction, or just fiction based on actual events?

Any ideas or examples are appreciated!
#1 - June 04, 2012, 02:11 PM
THE THREE RULES OF EVERYDAY MAGIC (Boyds Mills Press, Fall 2018)

If it's pitched as a true story you probably won't be able to have the animals talking. But you could say it's inspired by a true story and do that... I believe that was the case with The One and Only Ivan.
#2 - June 04, 2012, 02:22 PM

I think of The Incredible Journey.  I think a story like you described would be considered fiction based on actual events or inspired by actual events.  I think animal's POV could still be NF but once the animals start talking in my opinion that moves it into fiction.
#3 - June 04, 2012, 03:20 PM


I'm going to say Fiction based on actual events, and it can be done. My suggestion is to keep to the truth for your basic story-line. And be creative with the rest; it may not be exactly the way it happened, but it will be easier to write and add a bit more color to the project.
#4 - July 31, 2012, 05:32 PM

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I think it's fiction inspired by a true story.
#5 - July 31, 2012, 08:58 PM

Barb  :owl



I agree that it has to be fiction based on a true story because you can't have animals talking in nonfiction unless it is sounds they are making.

 :frog: :frog: :frog:
#6 - August 01, 2012, 08:50 PM

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Not sure if you're still looking for an example, but what about Ted Kennedy's book My Senator and Me: A Dog's Eye View of Washington, D.C.
#7 - August 23, 2012, 10:45 AM


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