Fiction, Non-fiction, & A Memoir

Posted in Blog | 4 comments

For some strange reason, as I tried to sleep last night, my mind decided to think about the difference between the writing of Fiction, Non-Fiction, or a Memoir.  I have no idea why my brain decided to think about that, but half the time, I cannot control what my mind thinks about if or when it works.

What is the writing of Fiction? Is it just made up by the crafty brilliant minds of authors, or is it real-life experiences hidden in the embellishment of fiction to hide the truth and protect the original characters. Many writers have said that all Fiction has some truth in it. Other writers have said that their writing is all true except for names, dates, and times. There could be many reasons for this, protecting others, classified information, etc.  After learning from others about the writing of Fiction, it opened my eyes.

Non-Fiction is supposed to be the truth, although it can be embellished to make it more humorous.  I write Widow’s Blogs, which are about things I have done through the last twenty-two years as a Widow.  In actuality, some of the things I explain how to do, I have done before successfully, but some I have failed miserably doing, and that is where my humor begins to kick in.  The main thing that is fun for me in these blogs is the fact that I don’t know the names of the tools or parts that I have used.  These parts or tools become dumafletches, thingamajigs, that round thangy, etc.

Sometimes, Non-Fiction comes from research on a subject concluded with the author’s opinion as to his truth. This Non-Fiction can be anything from how to plant a garden, cook the perfect BBQ, which tires are best to buy, how the West got won, what wrinkle cream works best, etc. Oh, and that wrinkle cream, forget it, drink plenty of water.

So what is a Memoir? A Memoir is memories of a writer’s life written as their truths according to their recall of things that happened to them. Memories, good or bad that shaped their life to become who they are. The writer can include as much of their life as they want to share.

I am writing a Memoir, but that Memoir includes letters from my husband while he was in Vietnam. He writes of his experiences there, his feelings, and his love for me, and in between his letters, I include my memories of what was happening to me according to my recall. Is this a double whammy Memoir? How will it be classified?  Do I need to know? Should I try to find out? Do you know?






Visits: 1239


  1. I got two notifications for this one only the first one was missing the link. There was a link and I almost clicked on it until I read that it was to unsubscribe. Whoops! Not the thing to click on. I did that on another blog once, and had to sign up all over again. I was trying to copy and paste part of your first paragraph here about how your brain works or doesn’t, but I can’t get anything to highlight long enough to copy it. It’s not your blog, but either my computer or the mouse. I am getting really frustrated with that mouse when it doesn’t behave well for me. But I did enjoy reading your post. I’m glad I now know the difference between fiction, non-fiction and memoir. 🙂 If I could get that smiley face any larger, I would make it really big. Gee, I think it’s time I went to bed and stop this rambling. Actually I got that backwards. I would need to stop the rambling before I go to bed. Oh, dear. Have a great weekend, Nancy. Love you. God bless.

    • Diane, thank you. After I hit the send button, I realized immediately that I forgot the link. This is a new way to do this for me but I should have used my head a little. LOL! Not sure I really know what the difference is between Fiction, Non-Fiction or a Memoir, but my mind sure wanted to think about it last night.
      God Bless You and thank you for your Comment.

  2. I think you are pretty much on. Fiction can range from science fiction and fantasia, in which the writers create their own worlds and sometimes laws of physics, to tell a story, to historical fiction set in the past with fictional characters to such as Maureen McCullough, who wrote a series “The First Man in Rome” in which she viewed Rome from the POV of many historical characters in general historical to occasionally fictional situations, to explore how these different people were motivated, to take them out of the text book and make them real people. Non-fiction can range from how-to books to historical or scientific treatises, emphasis on accuracy. Memoirs are basically recollections of the events and people that shaped your life, and since Frank happens to be the person who most shaped your adult life, he and his letters certainly belong in your memoir. Which is also historical, since it recreates the turbulent years of the 60s and 70s very nicely.

    • Thank you so much for your comment Lew.
      I like your explanation so much more than mine. So many books are now written as fiction and they contain actual well researched facts with the exception of names.
      I love the way you do research for your books then build a story around your research.
      God Bless You,

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.