A single word or phrase for turning events (historical/recent) into fiction.Like based on real events, but fictious. Like some myths that have been derived from real events.

'romanticized' but that means turning things into good/idealistic.I'm looking for a word that is neutral.

closed as off-topic by MetaEd Dec 23 '18 at 20:55

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions on choosing an ideal word or phrase must include information on how it will be used in order to be answered. For help writing a good word or phrase request, see: About single word requests" – MetaEd
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Are you looking for a verb or a term for the genre? Please include an example sentence. – Tushar Raj Dec 22 '18 at 9:01
  • Thank you for asking. Some information will help us to give you the correct answer. Please edit to include the desired register (formality), part of speech, and context in which it is to be used, and if possible provide the exact enclosing sentence or passage. See: “How much research is needed? – EL&U Meta”, “single-word-requests tag wiki”. – MetaEd Dec 23 '18 at 20:57

Fictionalise (Am. Eng fictionalize)


To fictionalize an account of something that really happened means to tell it as a story, with some details changed or added.

  • 5
    This is the best answer. Alternatives that do not literally mean this, but should almost always be read as such are: "Based on actual events" and "Based on a true story". – Michael Richardson Dec 22 '18 at 16:00
  • In wikitionary they attributed 'alter real events by adding flasehood' to it's meaning , but thanks for the definition :). – Rum Dec 23 '18 at 9:48

"Fictionalise"/"fictionalize" (depending on local spelling) is - as already suggested - probably the closest, but I've also seen "dramatise"/"dramatize" (often as "dramatisation") used.

I want to say that the word for turning real events into fiction is "journalism", but that's probably not as helpful as I think it is.

  • On the 'drama' side of things, there's also the related 'dramatic license', although that doesn't fit in this context. – Joe Dec 22 '18 at 16:28
  • 2
    I like dramatize But I have to -1 for journalism – Jim Dec 23 '18 at 0:10
  • I have to +1 for journalism – Sod Almighty Dec 25 '18 at 3:05

A related literary term is roman à clef ('story with a key') in which real persons and events are overlaid with fictional persons and events.

  • Would it still have the same meaning if the characters/events were based on real persons? Or does the characters intrinsically have to be real? – Rum Dec 23 '18 at 9:50
  • 1
    @Rum - as you can see from the linked definition, the term is a bit flexible and can be used to cover either situation. Usually, it means a thinly disguised account of a real situation and real person(s). – Jim Mack Dec 23 '18 at 14:27

allegorise (Am. Eng. allegorize)

Verb, from:

Noun: allegory

figurative treatment of one subject under the guise of another.


According to Oxford Living Dictionary:

FACTION mass noun

A literary and cinematic genre in which real events are used as a basis for a fictional narrative or dramatization.

‘the current vogue for faction seems about to overwhelm narrative history.

'FACTION' is a blend of 'fact' and 'fiction'.

  • 5
    That’s not a verb meaning ‘turn into fiction’, though. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Dec 22 '18 at 9:42
  • 6
    I'm not about to vote down, but I would disagree. Perhaps O.L.D. has incorporated a portmanteau neologism, but "faction" already has a meaning - a group, bloc, party or sect often - but not necessarily - political [thesaurus.com]. – ItWasLikeThatWhenIGotHere Dec 22 '18 at 11:06
  • Then we can say there are two homonyms which are the result of convergence of two different words. – user307254 Dec 22 '18 at 11:29
  • 1
    @user307254 - Eventually, maybe, but I don't think we're there yet. As far as I'm concerned the O.L.D. definition is just plain wrong - but I recognise I might just be part of a group, bloc, sect etc. with that view... – ItWasLikeThatWhenIGotHere Dec 22 '18 at 12:24

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.