I have not yet had a chance to see Hamilton, crazy as that is considering how much of a musical theater fan I used to be. But I think you make a very good point about real life events constraining storytelling.

I have been working with a screenwriter to adapt a real life story that I serialized on Medium. As a novelist, I used lots of traditional techniques to give the story zing and punch. But it wouldn’t cooperate by fitting into a conventional arc. And I couldn’t figure out how to shoehorn it.

So the screenwriter and I decided in the end to package it as a “based on true events” story, not as a documentary or biography.

That gave us the liberty to change some details not constrained by things that actually happened.

I used to wonder why people did that with books and films, not really understanding that storytelling is a special art form. Now I get it.

I’m sorry Hamilton didn’t do it for you. Now I feel like subscribing to Disney Plus and see what I think about it.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store