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Writing Books/fiction or non-fiction


I've been thinking alot about writing a book based on my life. Would it be best to do as non-fiction or to change names and places. Some of the content would talk about the emotional abuse by a boyfriend as well as my depression and suicide thoughts that a lot of people don't know about. Any help would be great.

Hello Christina:

I can't tell you whether it would be "best" to write your book as fiction or non-fiction. That decision is totally up to you. You might consider writing a chapter or two one way, then the other to see which you are more comfortable with.

I'm sure you understand the difference between the two; but the lines are blurring here. There is such a thing as "creative non-fiction," which basically means it's part truth and part made up. Here's a site that might help: (You will have to cut and paste as this site does not support hyperlinks). If you find that lacking, try typing "creative non-fiction" into your search engine.

In either case, I would change your abusive boyfriend's name and description, most facts about him except what he did ("I'll cal him 'Hal.'")

If you don't want to expose your personal feelings or thoughts to your friends and family, by all means consider creative non-fiction. Unless you tell them, there's no way for anyone to tell what part is made up and which true.

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 800 questions.

And good luck with your writing!

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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