1. Sapphire
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    Sapphire Senior Member

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    The value of personal experiences

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Sapphire, Nov 18, 2007.

    How many of you use your own personal experiences and adapt them into your novella or novel? Bad or good experiences that had an impact on your life.

    Also, what is your opinion on personal experiences being adapted into novels? Will they make it all the more believable, does it depend if it makes or breaks it? Explain.

    I know that I use my own personal experiences. Especially the ones that involve friendships and potential love relationships. I think that makes the book all the more powerful, but what can be a little bit misleading is that a person that reads your book may not have had the same experiences, and not clearly understand the meaning behind it all.
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    like any other plot element, whether using your own experiences in a work of fiction works or not will depend on how well you write... most people read fiction not to read about things they know, but about things they don't, so i can't see that not having had the same experiences will be a problem... if you write well and can involve the reader in the story, even just as an observor, underlying personal 'meaning' won't matter, will it?
     
  3. Sapphire
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    Sapphire Senior Member

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    I'm not sure, but wouldn't some people take the underlying meaning as a moral? Most readers kind of look for a moral, and personal experiences may help guide that along.
     
  4. potters_pimp
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    potters_pimp Member

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    I suppose personal experience has helped.
    A certain death of a character in my book was really badly written until my great grandmother died. It helped improve the lingering that occurs throughout the book.
    I've also never been in a relationship (I am only 16 and I've just never really felt ready) so I've never bee able to write a convincing love story thread, so I've tried to avoid it.
     
  5. Sapphire
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    Sapphire Senior Member

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    I'm not saying love story, I'm just saying any experience in general kind of like your great grandmother. A love, a death, a birth, anything.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Is there any way of not using your personal experiences in your writing?

    My writing tends to be character-centric, so it is most assuredly based on people I've known and on life experiences. Those experiences include both my direct experiences and what I have seen of the experiences of people around me. And even though most of my writing steps away from mainstream experiences into the realms of science fiction and imagination, it is still anchored by my experiences and perceptions.
     
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