Monday, March 8, 2010

The Curse of the Writing Mind

Sometimes thinking like a writer almost feels like a curse. You hear about something rotten that happens to someone and, even while you’re saying how sorry you are, the wheels start turning. Wouldn’t that make a great story? Maybe I can use that as part of my character’s background. What would it be like if you lost the use of both hands while stranded in a rainforest?

Even though real life situations give me ideas, I try to change them significantly in my fiction. Some ways to keep reality and fiction distinct:

1. Use real life situations only as a jumping off point.
2. Don't use names and characteristic details of real people in your life.
3. Borrow a few details from a real-life situation for a different situation in your writing.

Any other ideas?


  1. I hate it when I do this! LOL I feel like such a world-class, unfeeling putz, but I also know it's part of being a writer. I must say, when I do use things like this, I try to invest them with as much emotion and respect for the original suffering person as I can. ;D

    Good post. I saw your comment on "Taking Chances" and thought I'd drop in.

  2. Victoria, thanks for dropping by! Good point about being respectful about how you treat the misfortune of others when it creeps into your writing.


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