Challenge Journal 2

So I have a lot of experience with creative non-fiction, which is how I approached writing true crime. But I had always been working with facts and experiences that are my own–and it was rather easy to make them interesting. Figuring out how to create a narrative out of my own experiences was a challenge when I first began, particularly when I took ENG 325 and 425 in the same semester (so. much. creative non-fiction. but i loved it). I really struggled with what people would find interesting about my life and how they would react to my stories. For this project, I feel very much the same. Except, these are not my stories to tell and I don’t know what the victims of the murders I am writing about would like said about them.

So it took me awhile to know where to begin with writing their stories. Eventually, I just had to suck it up and think about what wanted to know about these young women. It was sort of the opposite of my method of deciding what to include in my personal essays. I put myself in other people’s shoes and wonder if what I am talking about would be interesting to anyone except me.

Now, I’m putting myself in the victim’s shoes and asking what they would have liked said about them. For instance, I am reading a lot about how one of the girls was really into drugs and often ran away–it was a way for the press to downplay her disappearance and highlight her “high-risk” lifestyle to bring blame to her instead of her murderer.

I do not want to do that, so I’m trying to figure out ways to include her life, without blaming her decisions.

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