I just took a look at that “novel” I wrote in Nov. 2005. And literally have not looked at since.
I’m extremely amused at how much I stuck in there that came straight from some story I covered, but you know, the stuff I couldn’t put in the newspaper about how obnoxious a little girl was at a library storytime. For example. Or hilarious anecdotes that happened to my friends. When I wasn’t even present.
As I’ve mentioned, I have a way of “fictionalizing” (aka “reporting”) other people’s lives in my writing. I’d take it out, but I’m telling you, it’s just too good.
A former cops reporter turned novelist said in her keynote a few weeks ago that you have to change everything. If it’s a man, make it a woman…and so forth. But I’m telling you. Some of this stuff is just too precious. If I change it so that the innocent won’t recognize themselves, it would lose something, I fear.
Of course, then it would be fiction.