1. BlackBird
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    BlackBird Member

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    First time writer

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by BlackBird, Jan 1, 2013.

    Okay, I have every intentions of picking brains, figuratively not literally.

    Anyways I have some questions.

    Would it be unlikely to impliment my own history / experience into a story. It'd make the story easier to write yes however as a 23 year corrections officer and 8 years prior in the military I am not as naive about the justice system as most average civilians are.

    In short it might be too direct and hard-nosed to be agreeable for some if I write based off of what I witnessed - e.g. a guy committing suicide the day he was going to get released from prison because he simply didn't want to deal with the real world.

    Add to this I'm a pessimistic guy and the story is probably going to run more along the lines of for lack of a better word, Poe(ish).
     
  2. Cerebral
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    Cerebral Active Member

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    I don't know what you mean by "unlikely"...but yeah, you can use your experiences in stories.
    Depends on how you write it or present it, I would say.
     
  3. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't write it to "be agreeable for some." Write the story that you want to write. The plus side of writing about something that did actually happen, is that it is therefore entirely plausible for it to happen.
     
  4. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    Adding the right "parts" of yourself (i.e experiences, knowledge, certain traits) would actually make a story more believable. If you know it, then writing about a character that knows it is going to make the story more believable to the readers. A lot of author's do it, and it's certainly a good idea in my opinion.

    Don't worry about what others think is agreeable, and what isn't agreeable in a story. If they don't like the material then they don't have to read it. It doesn't mean that other people aren't going to enjoy the parts that most people will disagree with. Take for example my sister and I. My sister likes to read sexual romances that borderline fantasy, and some of the more... extreme acts of sex. While myself, I prefer to read dark twisted novels that keep the reader on the edge of their seat and begging for more. I can't stand a romance book, and trying to get me to read one is impossible, but the fact still remains, what I find agreeable is different from what my sister finds agreeable.
    If we wrote to cater to one person's beliefs, we wouldn't have 2/3rds of the great books we have today I'm sure.
     
  5. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Like many have already said, each and every writer has their own style, when someone writes to try and reach an audience, people can tell its fake. Just be yourself, I as a corrections officer and on the SRT team for awhile too, and if anything it's taught me how to write great dialogue. It's also taught me how to sound like a jerk when I need to. A person writing personality is what makes them who they are. Do you think guys like Jack Kerouac, Kurt Vonnegut, and Hunter S. Thompson really tried to be someone else? Nah, they just infused their personalities and life experiences into their own fictional, or sometimes non-fictional writing. Kurt Vonnegut grew up in Indiana and he wrote about the area and traveling to Ohio all the time. Stephen King lives in Bangor, Maine, and uses it for the settings of his books all the time. So just be yourself and let the fingers do the talking. Damn I ruined it by ending with a cliche...
     
  6. midnight candle
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    midnight candle Member

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    write what you know. experience adds depth to the character.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    his own gritty experience on the streets and as a detective that he worked into his novels never hurt best-selling, award-winning author joseph wambaugh...

    nor any of the other successful writers who wrote about what they knew best and didn't stint on depicting the darker side of reality...
     
  8. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    There are a number of corrections officers that have written fiction and non-fiction about the system. In fact, seems to me that it'd be *preferable* to have the inside scoop rather than be casually researched or completely made up.

    I know a retired police detective from Sault, Ontario who has turned his last big case (decades old cold-case he & partner solved) into a book, and a retired corrections officer from the Michigan side who is starting to turn his own experiecnes into a book.

    Go for it, by all means! More important than the experiences themselves will be your ability to breath life into the people, the settings and the emotions.

    -Frank
     
  9. squirrelpen
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    squirrelpen New Member

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    Although your story will be complicated especially for those who do not have knowledge about the justice system, it will be more interesting as the writer can give a lot of significant information that average civilians are not aware of. Being pessimistic is not a problem as your book will depict reality in a hard way which in my opinion will be more attractive and controversial to readers.
     
  10. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    You could write about a guy that is the head of Death Row and has a horrible urinary tract infection. One day he gets this very unique inmate named John Coffey that changes his life.
     

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