No matter how hard you try to escape it, real life influences the way you write. Books, television, movies and even gossip the supermarket clerk told you all shape our mental library.
Every emotion, sight, sound, color, smell has an impact on how and what you write. Take it all in and you’ll instantly have material you can use in your fiction writing.
From The Cradle
Childhood experiences – good or bad – are an excellent source for fiction. The greats like Leo Tolstoy and Charles Dickens became famous because of their novels about childhood.
Don’t pen your memoir, though. Take from your childhood and build your story from it. Twist your own experience.
For instance, say you weren’t the most popular kid in class. You were considered “the nerd” and spent a lot of time by yourself. But there was this really popular girl at school. You always wanted to be like her. In a way, she was your idol. You looked up to her and, at the same time, you were so jealous of her. She seemed to have it all.
Now completely rotate that story. You’re the most popular girl and you have all these other kids around you all the time. It gets old. You wish you could be like that girl over there. The one standing by herself with the glasses, clutching her books to her chest. She has all the privacy she wants. You’re so jealous.
From The Grave
Draw on the experiences of your ancestors. Maybe your grandmother helped build the H bomb but employees were forbidden from knowing what they were working on. Or maybe your great great great aunt was the first woman in your family to refuse to participate in a pre-arranged marriage.
You’ll find a gold mine in your family’s history. You can even turn that history into a modern day fictional piece. How your story evolves is up to you.
If you ask for writing advice, you’ll probably hear, “Write what you know.” But you know too much. Focus on the memories, history and events that really stand out and you’ll never have to worry about finding sources of fiction…just how you’re going to find time to write about them all.