Writing Fiction from Experience


Life is a book. No saying can hold more truth than that one short quote. Life is indeed a book waiting to be written. Ideas for the best novels and stories  often come from the authors past experiences, what they observe, or what they hear from people around them. Stories often start with an idea that gets stuck in your brain after hearing or seeing something of interest to you and expanding it with other ideas you might have stored in your memory. These ideas may also be figments of your imagination, stemming from dreams, hopes, ambitions, and the what-ifs we tend to ask ourselves every now and then.

Experiencing life is one great story in itself, but having the tenacity to mix it up and write it down takes some skill, some hard work, and a lot of creativity. To come up with a story that is both coherent and interesting, one has to be a bit of a dreamer with an eye for detail and a strong sense of reality. Writing from past experiences also lends some reality to your work of fiction since it is based on different events in different peoples lives or even just one life in particular. Emotions can be expressed accurately enough, depending on how you felt when such an event happened or how you would have felt if that happened to you.

Although some research also needs to be done to give a story some backbone, this may sometimes depend on the storys setting, character orientation, and the places where the events take place. Oftentimes, locations for fictional stories are replicas of real-life locations, mixed and matched with other real places and venues, then renamed. People in the stories can be derived from people you meet in real life, people you admire, people you abhor, or even people you come across once or twice in your entire lifetime.

Writing from experiences can reflect past hurts and disappointments as well as hidden fantasies and dreams. It is, in effect, like putting down your heart and soul on paper. It is a writers legacy to share with his reader part of who he is by writing from the heart, for in doing so, the story becomes more real and more captivating due to the realism that people can relate to. Falling in love, falling out of love, falling from your bike, falling from a tree all these events can be used to a certain extent in writing, with modifications to who, what, when, and where to suit the needs of the story being penned.

Digging through past experiences to use as elements for your story can sometimes be dangerous. While rewriting these into a fictional story, some of the real events tend to blur into the one being written, which can then warp your own memories of what really happened to you and what is just an elaboration or an add-on to the scene in the tale. Taking care to differentiate one from the other can be somewhat tricky and is a skill that any author has to learn.

Characters in fictional stories, when based on real people you are close to or even people youve only seen from afar, come to life easily if you can picture them in your head. Descriptions come to you in a flash since their picture or image is embedded in your memory. Their personality may or may not be based on the model and could be derived from another person altogether. The main point of writing from experience being mixing and matching events, people, places, and imagination to come up with a story that isnt exactly pure fiction in feel, but fiction in the coming together.

Courtesy of Article Circle