Thursday, March 21, 2013
Roman a Clef Holiday
I've learned that although everything might be story material, not all stories should be made public.
I need to speak obliquely lest the facts I disclose permit identification of the guilty parties. Or the wicked, wicked person who put me up to this blog post.
Let's suppose you have parties X, Y, and Z. X and Y conspire to steal something of supposed value from Z. (In point of fact, the item was completely devoid of value.) After X enjoys possession of this item for some time, Y returns said item to Z.
After this happens, X is distraught about the loss of this worthless item and goes public with expressions of anger against Y and appeals to Z to return it. In the anger and appeals, X by way of comparison makes Gollum seem mildly piqued about the loss of his precious.
This is done in public. In a blog post composed at length by X. It goes on and on seemingly forever.
X thought s/he was saying something about Y and/or Z, but s/he was really disclosing something much more significant about X.
I first coined the term "It's all story material" when I was angry at someone close to me and I wrote a spleen-venting rant. I've never published it and I never will.
What I see now is that the spleen-venting rant may be directed against Y or Z, but in the ranting X discloses negative things about himself/herself that perhaps was not quite intended.
Abraham Lincoln said that nobody is truly worthless: at least they can serve as a bad example. If something bad happens to you, it may be story material, and by all means you should feel free to write it up. But before you go public with that story, maybe you should ask someone close to you whether the writing of it shows you to be a fool or a sociopath.
It is not nice to exult in the sadness of others, but there must be some reason why God wired humans with a capacity for shadenfreud. Instead of evoking sympathy, X has inspired thorough contempt in this reader of his/her rant.
Am I ever going to fictionalize this story? Oh yeah.