Memoir: Plausible Detail or Lying? You Decide

There’s a fine line in memoir writing between making up facts (lying), and enhancing memoir with plausible detail. At what point does an author deliberately mislead the memoir reader? Jane Friedman https://janefriedman.com/writing-advice-archive/ offers an archived guest post by Tracy Seeley called When Is Lying in Memoir Acceptable? 3 Key Issues.

Read the story Screaming and Splashing from my book Remembering Childhood: Workbook Your Way to a Finished Memoir and decide for yourself. http://leslierupley.com/rememberingchildhood/excerpt-remembering-childhood-screaming-splashing/

Here are the Facts:

I was four years old The fire hydrant was open
My mother watched
It was a hot day in the city
I was afraid

Here are Some Plausible Details:

Exact quotes
Mom followed with bathing slippers
I grabbed Marcy’s hand
Donnie opened the hydrant

In a prior blog http://leslierupley.com/details-for-your-memoir-what-can-you-recall/ I said that I deliberately construct details that may actually have happened, but which I’m unable to recall with precision.

You decide. Are the plausible details acceptable in memoir? Leave a comment or contact me to share your take on this topic.

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