Hi there Writers and Readers,
Writing Leap #13 Fiction Based on Fact
There are many variations of fiction based on fact. Creative Non-Fiction, Narrative Non-Fiction (sometimes called Docufiction), Memoir, The Personal Essay. The writing is factual but reads like a story.
Aaaah, but HOW factual? This literary prose style can slip from super faithful to documented facts all the way to painting the facts with different colors and hues to serve your story–and on to outright reinvention of the facts to the point where they are unrecognizable! Lots of intriguing choices for the fiction writer. We can play with the facts. Yaaaay.
Attention journalists reporting a story. Clearly this does not apply to us!
When We Discover Something That Sparkles
So gather your facts and go make up a story around them. Play very loose with the story line. Just let it flutter your imagination.
Thirteen Centuries Ago in Reims, France
Dom Perignon, my good monk, you must calm yourself. His Highness the King already loves your holy wine. Is not the King riding all the way here to our magnificent cathedral to taste of it during an official royal mass? The King would not be making the long bumpy journey from Paris to Reims for just an ordinary glass of red, my brother.
Dom Perignon covered his ears and pressed hard, as if to squeeze away this voice inside him. If his superiors could hear this constant inner chatter Dom Perignon would be severely chastised. He was a Benedictine and he must remain tranquil. At all costs. And he must pursue his wine experiments for God and by extension his King. Not, God please forgive him, for his own aggrandizement.
The monk nodded to himself and descended a steep narrow staircase. The wine cellar with its big vats and barrels, its acrid smell, and its lone small window was Dom Perignon’s personal chapel, although dear God, he would never utter this thought out loud. Though partially blind It was here in the dim light where he could imagine and pursue his ideas for turning the pale red wine of the Champagne region into the prized deep red color of Burgundy. Surely then the Abbey at Hautvilliers would be especially honored by the King.
Truth be told Dom Perignon was thoroughly exasperated with his efforts to perfect the wine. The wine continued to ferment in the bottle to the point where horrid bubbles appeared. As he descended down into the cellar he half expected to find that the bottles had exploded and made a mess all over the floor.
Must the wine be red? Maybe the skins are the problem. Get rid of them! Would it be allowed to mix our grapes with others from the region?
Dom Perignon didn’t wait for permission. He worked with two eager young monks on a creative recipe for a new holy wine.
Time passed and the new wine fermented happily in its bottles. This time Dom Perignon couldn’t muffle his excitement. His motives were pure and he just might have discovered a drink fit for angels, or at least for the King.
And he did. He popped open the first bottle and heard the fizzle. He poured some into a glass. Oh, how it bubbled. Oops too fast. It was foaming. How lovely and pale it looked.
Dom Perignon took a sip. Aaaah. Extraordinary bubbles. Exquisite light taste.
“Come quickly my young brothers. I’m tasting stars.”
And this, some say, is how Dom Perignon invented the exquisite drink we toast with called CHAMPAGNE.
Here’s a champagne toast to all you wonderful writers out there,
LINKING THE ARTS
Dom Perignon Tasting his Stars
A Lovely Word
Effervescent: In the sense of lively and extremely happy
A Book I Love
One of my very favorite writers, Colette, played beautifully with the facts in her stories about her adored mother, Sido, a late nineteenth-century woman in rural France.
My Mother’s House and Sido by Colette.