Monday, June 29, 2009

Things Change so Fast

Life can change in an instant.

A horrific car crash, an unexpected joy of a baby, discovering you've been cheated on, your house catching fire and burning down. All sorts of things can change your perspective on life in an instant. The same can be said for your characters.

Their world can come crumbling down in so many ways. Makes for great stories. It is hard to write something like that unless you've actually faced it in your own life. Or at least that's how I feel. I have had tragedy in my life, I honestly can say it has helped me understand how people react to life-changing situations so much more.

Whether it made me a better writer or not, time will tell.

Have you drawn from any major life experiences in your writing?


  1. I actually have the opposite experience. I once wrote a short story for a fiction class about a guy in college who gets into a car accident (it's not the biggest point in the story, but it spurred on the later troubles). Only I had never really been in an accident. Until five days later. And amazingly, it was so similar. I could have added more details, but in general, I was happy with my scene (and not with my real accident).

    But to truly answer your question, anytime I go through anything, I make mental notes on how it feels for any future characters. Good occasions, horrible accidents, stupid fights, etc.

  2. Oh wow. I can't say that has ever happened to me!

    Mental notes are good. I've found when I'm writing a scene with something pretty heavy in it, I suddenly remember all these things that have happened and how I felt. Awesome stuff.

  3. Interestingly, like SJDuvall, I've also had life imitate art to the extent that I've chosen to change some details in my books rather than risk it coming true in real life. I was writing about a character who played electric guitar and was due to be murdered when I met a man who happened to play electric guitar. That character now plays the keyboard, and I married the man who plays electric guitar ;-)

  4. That's so cool. I've never had anything like that happen.

    Now I'm worried I will. Maybe I should be nicer to my characters...

    Thanks for stopping by!

  5. My many camping and hiking experiences and working with the Boy Scouts have helped numerous times for adventures in my books. They are helping again for my WIP about a wagon train in 1849.

    I always listen to the gory details when someone describes something awful to me. I write them down later. Except for two car wrecks, I haven't used very many out of the twenty or so I have collected, but they are available if I ever want one. My imagination can't compare to the real event and accompanying emotions.