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I think I'm going to write a book

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Well, I just moved to rural AK, and let me tell you, this is a whole othe rworld from living in the lower 48! After my first email home, grandma wrote back and said 'you need to write a book about that stuff' and you know, I think I would like to. A lot of things come off really funny to an outsider, you know?
So I've started typing up notes (and I've only been here a week and a half). I think this book will be something like Betty Macdonald's "The Egg and I" or Pat McManus' books...each chapter would be a self-contained story or essay, many would be humorous, but not nescessarily all (some might be more pondering on the wonders of the wilderness that surrounds me or things like that). The book would be mostly true, but probably embellished a little for excitement (see Pat McManus' stuff, you'll see what I mean!)

This is a town of about 150 people. We are 45 min by plane to the nearest real city...6 hrs on a ferry. This is the Alaskan bush. I figure I would need to change the names of any people I refer to, but I am considering using the real name of the town in the book. Basically, there are a half dozen little towns like this, but we are so far out here that either no-one here would see the book or else they'd buy a lot of copies and sell it as a tourist souvenier. If I use the real name, it'd probably be the latter, you know? The thing is, I wouldn't want to offend anyone, and so even though I wouldn't be trying to say anything negative about anybody, the stuff that I see as funny might bother them, you know? So maybe it's better to make up some name and try to be generic...

I should mention--this is NOT an ethnic thing at all. This town does have a native population, but it's actually only about 1/4. This is mostly a fishing town, and mostly caucasion--like me. The things that amuse me range from the salmon runs to the way my dog always seems to find sea otter poop to roll in. There are people that amuse me, but it's not the customs, it's the individual PEOPLE, regardless of heritage, you know?

Anyway, I'm interested in feedback about using the real name of the town... The town is Pelican, by the way (www.pelican.net ). Grandma suggested using the name Puffin in the book, but I think that's pretty much a giveaway of what the real town is...so what's the point of using a psudonym if everybody knows what it really is, you know?

thoughts?!
post #2 of 5
I would take an all or nothing approach to the naming in a book like that. I'd either call the city by its real name and call all of the "characters" in the book by their real names (with their permission, naturally), or I'd give the town a fictitious name and do the same with the characters.

Of the two options, I think that going all fictitious would be the easiest and most graceful way to write the book. Using fake names gives you freedom to alter things about the town and the people that you wouldn't necessarily have if you were using real names.
post #3 of 5
Hey brightonwoman! AK is pretty crazy, isn't it? I've had people tell me I ought to write a book about it as well, but I'll let you do that instead. I agree with the PP, all or nothing. Either treat it like an autobiography or completely fictionalize it. I think a lot of people down in the states would be interested in reading it if it were non-fiction, though. However, if you p!ss off people in your town, you gotta live with that. And I can't imagine it's pleasant.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskaberry View Post
Hey brightonwoman! AK is pretty crazy, isn't it? I've had people tell me I ought to write a book about it as well, but I'll let you do that instead. I agree with the PP, all or nothing. Either treat it like an autobiography or completely fictionalize it. I think a lot of people down in the states would be interested in reading it if it were non-fiction, though. However, if you p!ss off people in your town, you gotta live with that. And I can't imagine it's pleasant.
so, how about i call it fiction...but really basically tell the truth? that's ok, right?:


I think i need to start writing discriptions of people, then ahve contests with my friends (back in the 48) to come up with names for them...i know their real names so it's too hard to think of fake ones. lol.

I live in Pelican. A friend already suggested calling the town "Puffin". Is that too close or can I pull that off do you think?
post #5 of 5
Hey, sure, why not? It's cute.
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