Capstone Project Struggles

For my capstone project, I’m writing a short story. Fiction is not my forte, and I’ve conducted some preliminary research to learn different brainstorming and writing techniques (Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft by Janet Burroway & What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers by Anne Bernays). Though these sources are extremely helpful, they don’t address some more personal problems that I’m facing.

In my story, I’m writing from multiple points of view. In order to achieve a distinct voice for each character, I’ve used somebody I know as a model. For example, I thought to myself, “what would so-and-so think in this situation? How would he/she react in this circumstance?” While my story is entirely fiction, my characters are very identifiable as people in my life. And in order to make the story realistic and interesting, I have exposed some of their greatest flaws. The average reader might not recognize this, but for those who are close to me, they will immediately know who I’ve used as for my character models.

My problem is this: I’m scared to show my story to those who I’ve modeled characters after. I’m nervous that they will be offended that I have portrayed them in a way that exposes their shortcomings. I fear that they will be mad at me for writing about personal situations, even though I’ve changed enough details to call the piece fiction.

What do I do? Should I show them my story? Since I’m posting it on a public website (my capstone e-Portfolio) I’m sure they’ll eventually stumble upon it. All advice is welcome.

Thanks!

2 thoughts to “Capstone Project Struggles”

  1. I am having the same struggles! This is the scary part about being a writer (and why people sometimes think of us as narcissistic!) I wrote about this in my capstone portfolio. I wrote an essay about anxiety, and a lot of this stemmed from family and people I went to school with. I also questioned my faith a lot, which I am afraid to reveal to some people in my life. If someone else has any tips for this please share them with us!

  2. Hmm…this is a very difficult question to answer. It’s funny, though, because I have totally written fiction stories for previous classes that were based on real people in my life; however, the papers were for the teacher’s eyes (or peer edited eyes) only, rather than the public. So I’m trying to wonder how I would feel about posting these on a public blog…would I be comfortable? I guess it depends on who these people are and how likely they are to come across your blog? My Capstone Blog is being used solely for class purposes (at least for right now), so I know that there is a .01 shot that anyone who does not have easy access to the link is going to find it. Like, unless I were to post it on my facebook page…my family and friends would not casually stumble upon it. So I don’t know…this one is really up to you. It’s definitely scary and a vulnerable position. Is there anyway you can make the blog private and only give access to those who have a link? That way you feel more comfortable about posting it on there? Hmm…I’m trying to think of other ideas…

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