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?