Day 6 – “F” Faux Bios!
Me: Tomorrow is F! Guess what F is for?!
Her: …………Omg. Are you doing “Faux Bio?”
Her: (insert emoji of creature vomiting)
Faux Bio? Say what now??? A term a friend and fellow blogger of mine over at Thought on a Roll coined years ago, the Faux Bio is a term I’ve been using ever since to describe a type of literature that bounces back and forth between present day and the past. A combination of contemporary and historic fiction, weaving together two story lines that are intimately entwined in some way.
Typically, the present-day character is attempting to solve some mystery, unearth some family skeleton, and through extensive research and investigation into the past (the second, and some times third, story line that is rooted in a completely different era), uncovers the truth. The novel alternates between the two characters, two narratives, two eras, connecting the two tales in a magical and creative way.
I adore this type of story telling. I’ve been wracking my brain to determine the legit term for it, and the closest I could come up with is that a “Faux Bio” is a type of frame narrative, a story within a story. One of my favorite authors, Kate Morton, writes nearly exclusively this way. Her main character works at uncovering some dark family secret; that secret, that story is being told from the perspective of another character, decades or even centuries earlier.
A writing style I strive to emulate, one of the two novels I am working on encompasses this style, this bouncing back and forth between narratives. Having lived in the Southeast region of the United States for nearly 3 years, I developed a strong love for the rich history the South boasts. The dark side of this history of the Deep South, family ties and traditions, cultural traditions and customs, and a vast array of mannerisms and behaviors. Absolutely fascinating. Having experienced this, it seemed natural that I write about it.
And so, my very own “Faux Bio” was born. Bouncing back and forth between a young woman working with her grandmother to renovate and relaunch their family’s Bed and Breakfast nestled in the Louisiana bayou, her grandmother giving a detailed account of the the mystery this magnificent house is privy to, the back story of a family secret, a crime committed at the turn of the century.
I have a contemporary novel I’m working on as well; however when I want to really let my creativity run wild and and I find myself itching to write in a “flowery” (as my mother puts it) tone, I immediately turn to this novel, busting out some random excerpt or chapter as the mood suggests.
Do you enjoy this style of writing? From what I have discussed with other readers and writers, one either loves it or absolutely abhors it (see the dialogue above!). Is there any legitimate term for this? A type of frame story/narrative is the closest I got, aside from it being some combination of contemporary and historic fiction. Regardless, I thoroughly enjoy reading and writing it! 🙂