Tuesday, January 10, 2006
A Million Little Lies?
Whoa, hold up! Supa was just about to take her tired ass to bed, then stuck around for the late-breaking story on Anderson Cooper:
A Million Little Lies? : Exposing James Frey's Fiction Addiction (click here to read the story from Smoking Gun. Kinda lengthy)
Now, we all know James Frey. He's the dude who had Oprah and all of Harpo Productions crying and staying up nights because of his book. Supa is one of the three people on the Planet Earth who didn't read it... Well, I started reading, but didn't finish - the stark, rambling style in which it was written started off very intriguing, then grew tedious, in Supa's opinion. Plus she ended up seeing him featured on that Oprah episode, and found out how the darn thing ended anyway, so there you go. But I 'aint knocking his hustle, 'cause dude got so much publicity and hype, so many more projects that spun off this one manuscript, and basically, dude's gettin majorly pi-zaid. (PAID, for all you non Cali folks)
Now Supa read the Smoking Gun article, and doesn't care to get into all the (alleged) fabrications and inconsistencies revealed about Frey's story. (note: Frey will be on Larry King Live tomorrow, if you wanna hear his side) Dude gave a statement this evening proclaiming " let the haters hate, the doubters doubt, I stand by my book, and my life, and I won't dignify this bullshit with any sort of further response."
What Supa finds much more interesting, is the backlash this is bound to have in the literary community about blurring the line between fiction and non-fiction. When a writer publishes a memoir, the reading public is led to believe that the events spoken about are true. Not embellished, not fabricated. Right? Because otherwise - it's fiction.
As writers, we know what it is to "put extras on it," because that what we do, that's part of the craft. Supa thinks the lesson here is, if you do choose to put in the extras, embellish, whatever - best to create a character and publish it as fiction. That way, you've got the "based on true events" working in your favor. DO NOT attempt to market a memoir as a reality-based account because, as we see - if/when you blow up, folks will get all up in your shit, ask questions, fact-check, research, etc. and attempt to discredit and/or EXPOSE your supposed-memoir-writing behind!
Supa also finds it *interesting* that Frey's manuscript was initially turned down 17 times, when he was pitching it as a fiction novel...hmmm...Did he simply feel like it would sell better as a memoir, and kept all the over-the-top details in the final manuscript? What do ya'll think? And is this any different from rappers who embellish their rhymes and lyrics to sell records?