Hello! Thanks for your interest in my writing!

I created this combination blog and website to make my life easier so I can focus on adventuring, writing, and wellness. 

Thursday, January 11, 2024

What is Autofiction?

I've been seeing more classes and articles pop up that mention autofiction. It's a relatively new term that describes a very old writing practice. Short for autobiographical fiction, autofiction blends fictional and autobiographical story elements.

You might ask: Isn't most fiction a wee bit autobiographical? And isn't it common that nonfiction is sometimes embellished or dramatized?

Yes and yes. But autofiction is a wee bit more specific than this.

According to Brooke Warner in this Publisher's Weekly article, autofiction is not a genre or subgenre. It describes stories that are fueled by the truth. 

Masterclass.com describes autofiction this way, "Autofiction, short for autobiographical fiction, is a genre of literature that combines elements of autobiography and fiction."

I'm quite keen on this quote from storaenso.com: "As well as autofiction being an intriguing concept for the reader – “When you see that this is a novel but that the protagonist's name is the same as the author, you understand that something a little different is happening here,” says Koivisto – it can give authors something special, too."

And this post by Adele Annesi on the Jane Friedman blog is very good. "The writer then melds these realities with fictional plot elements, characters and events in a way that often reads like memoir or autobiography."

This notion that the author is a fictional or quasi-fictional protagonist is quite appealing to me.

I've written several autofiction pieces...well...depending on the definition. But one thing is for sure, it can be fun and freeing to include fictional elements in our autobiographical works. What's important, of course, is that we clarify whether it's truth, autofiction, or fiction. This is something I've done in my upcoming collection, Far From Ordinary. Each piece is labeled so there's no trickery. 

I'm thinking about making my next novel autofiction. Would be a blast to try! Will keep you updated. 

And if you're interested in reading some autofiction - other than mine - the storaenso.com piece linked above has a good list of autofiction novels. Also, a search on Amazon yields and interesting and eclectic list.

For writers: If you're a Lexington, KY based writer, the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning is offering a class on autofiction. And there are others online for those of us who live elsewhere.

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