Ephemera – How true is your “true story”

We told the Confabulators to write a fictionalized version of something true for the flash fiction this week. As many people know from the many Hollywood “based on a true story” renditions, just because something claims to be based on a true story, doesn’t mean it has much truth to it. So we asked those Confabulators (who were willing) to reveal how much truth there was to their true story last week.

August Baker

The actions in my story are almost 100% true, at least as well as 12 year old August remembers them. But I already know 12 year old August’s story, and didn’t have a lot of interest retelling it. Instead, it’s told from the point of view of my dad. His thoughts and feelings during my story will remain his and only his, and I can only hope that I did him justice.

Sara Lundberg

After my mom passed away, I spent a month writing down everything I could remember about the experience. After that I put it away and didn’t look at it for over a year. When asked to tell a true story, I decided some of my best material was probably there, so I went through the massive manuscript and found something anecdotal I could tell in a flash fiction. It is mostly true, even if the events and conversations didn’t happen exactly the way they are presented.

Kevin Wohler

As with most stories, there’s a grain of truth to “Going for Broke.” I didn’t want to just tell a true story, however. Real life rarely has a good solid ending. Most true stories don’t end, they just lead to the next story.

So after writing a rough draft of the “true” event, I decided to really fictionalize it. I set the story in 1945, and I made the narrator (me) into a former army grunt who worked long shifts at a Pittsburgh steel mill. I made Nathan much more of an antagonist than the guy he is based on. I gave the narrator a wife and baby to up the stakes of his losses.

What’s still true in the story? Well, there was a poker game, and I did break my shoulder blade after falling on the way to the bathroom. And — true to the story — I still managed to come in second place that night.

Jason Arnett

How much truth is in my story? Enough that hopefully you believe most of it COULD have happened, but not so much that it would get me in trouble with anyone named in the story. Essentially, the beginning is true. Then there are some bits from other stories mixed in that are also true. The only part that’s not true is the one about — ah, you already know that.

Cafe Management is run by the administration of The Confabulator Cafe. We keep things running smoothly, post stories by guest authors, and manage other boring back-end tasks.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.