MEDIUM

If Your Medium Story is Fiction?

Let Your Readers Know Upfront!

Roz Warren, Writing Coach
Ask an Editor
Published in
4 min readJun 9, 2024

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Photo by Alison Wang on Unsplash

Today’s Medium gripe? Writers who don’t tell their readers upfront that their story is fiction.

I started to read a story by one of my favorite Medium writers this morning, a writer who always writes nonfiction, only to realize midway through the tale that the story I was enjoying wasn’t real.

He’d made it up.

Sure, there were little hints and signals that the story wasn’t true. For instance? He told the story in the third person and his protagonist had a different name.

A more alert reader than I was at 8 in the morning after having had just one cup of coffee might have picked up on that.

And yet? There were enough similarities between the teller of this fake tale and what I’d learned about the writer from years of reading his Medium work that I just assumed that despite the name switch, the story was real and about him.

How did I feel when I realized mid-story that I was reading fiction?

Tricked. Betrayed. Unhappy.

It was a perfectly good short story. But I wouldn’t have read it had I known it was fiction.

I Don’t Read Fiction on Medium

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Roz Warren, Writing Coach
Ask an Editor

Writing Coach and Editor Roz Warren (roSwarren@gmail.com) will help you improve and publish your work.