A Writing Conundrum – Writers Weigh In

In reading another blogger’s post this morning, a single phrase sparked a memory I thought I might write about.

Here’s the conundrum. How much weight do you give when you write about real people knowing  it may reflect poorly on them?

People are multi-faceted. Each of us spun from threads both positive and negative. I can have a negative memory with someone, but may hold more positive recollections about that person than negative. But the readers might not get that impression.

Am I too concerned about casting a negative light? This particular person is deceased, but that does not matter in my mind. They were still a person deserving of grace, aren’t they?

I cannot ‘change the name to protect the innocent’ because the story would reveal their identity.

I can hear my grandmother’s voice in my head – “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

I am very interested in your opinions.