1. Michael O
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    Michael O Contributing Member

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    Who writes on real life experiences or base their stories on real life?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Michael O, May 8, 2013.

    Fodder, food for thought. Where does it come from? Is it more than imagined fodder? More than just side dishes to make the main course that much better. Perhaps the basis of what you have written and permeates the story. Truth is at times more strange than fiction.

    I knew a "good ol boy" whose parents were killed in a DUI crash. A high school drop-out who loved his brothers and sister so much he turned to a life of crime to keep them out of foster homes and orphanages. They couldn't go to live with relatives. Every one related were just as dirt-poor. Damn if he didn't get caught and become a sheriff's deputy. Had to include this one......happy ending.

    Didn't write about this one, no happy ending. A freak-a-zoid killed 2 young girls then killed himself a short time later. A request was made for the body to be exhumed for DNA comparison. But the Judge is the dead freak's uncle. Was told he refused the request to protect his sister-in-law's last bit of sane grey matter and the family name. Not necessarily in that order.

    Thought I knew the Judge as a boy growing up. Reckon not. Or maybe people change, just don't know. Nor will the parents of the dead girls and no closure if there is such a thing for them. Seems everyone knows he did it and that's just the way it is sometimes in a small town.

    But damn if I don't wind up working with a much younger chemist who was high school friends with the two murdered girls. All from another town close by. And as I'm reflecting back on the times I knew the Judge as a classmate, she gets pissed. Not upset with me, but the I-hate-your-frigging-guts pissed. Thinks I'm defending the Judge. Such is life.

    Glad to be away. No headaches with fiction and half-truths.
     
  2. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    Well howdy' there pilgrim, why I gots me a coupla' tales to tell. Some may just not be appropriate for this here audience, others may well be. One boy, well he was none to stupid let me tell ya, went and got himself one of them computer programmin' degrees. But some time back, he done gone and ran a car off the road with his girlfriend's nephew in the passenger seat. He'd had a bit of the devil's beverage, ya know, and they don't know take to kindly to pretty boys in prison. Sad state of affairs.

    I aint seen the eifel tower, and I aint never never seen no queen in her damned undies, but I'll tell ya I've seen somethin' every bit as stupified as that. Most all fiction is drawin', in one way or another, from your life events, one can't pull nothin outta thin air.
     
  3. Michael O
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    Michael O Contributing Member

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    Not familiar with devil's beverage. God makes beer to keep us happy. But lives are lost everyday by smart people and idiots alike driving in that happy state.
    It's a crime, a crime with very serious consequences.

    A lawyer told me to cheer up once after coming out on the short end of the stick after a lengthy business battle. Wasn't too many years later his son killed his two best friend DUI.

    The guy got his legal affairs in order. Lawsuits by angry parent were filed in a way not to affect his family. He went hunting. A man who taught gun safety to young hunters accidentally shot himself in the head. Everyone knew but it could not be proven otherwise. Insurance companies hate when that happens.

    He was right. My problem was nothing compared to his but not sure about trading life for a few million. Maybe their life style was more important or maybe shame. Or maybe he was showing parents he took responsibility. Maybe all. He was a good man. And who of us have been lucky in close calls when DUI was something we did before we knew better?

    "There but for the grace of God go I."
     
  4. OllyKiriyama
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    OllyKiriyama New Member

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    Not me. My life is pretty boring and uninteresting.
     
  5. The Peanut Monster
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    The Peanut Monster Senior Member

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    Do we all, on some level, write about our life experiences?
     
  6. Sue Almond
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    Sue Almond Member

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    Trying to remembe who said it: 'Fiction is truth refracted through imagination.'
     
  7. whgoss
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    whgoss Member

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    That's a great quote. My writing is heavily influenced by my personal experiences, but these experiences merely serve as building blocks for the overall story. It's like all throughout life I've been wearing a sweater, collecting balls of lint as my life goes on, and then one day I sit down with some imaginary thread and weave a new sweater with the bits and pieces I've gathered along the way.

    EDIT: Okay, I found the real quote, and my paraphrased version pales in comparison. :)
     
  8. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    Experiences and observations are the basis of all my fictions.
     
  9. NathanRussell
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    NathanRussell Member

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    I certainly agree with this, I will probably never write an autobiographical novel but I think everything that I write will be affected by something I have seen or felt at some point.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i suspect everyone who writes fiction does one or the other to some extent... how could one do otherwise?

    as for myself, i've used events and relationships in my own life, as well as people i've known as fodder for my fiction from time to time... sometimes giving sad happenings a rosier resolution... that's one of the benefits of being a fiction writer... see here, for more that you can do:

    http://www.saysmom.com/maia/content.asp?Writing=161
     
  11. BUDDY GORGEOUS
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    BUDDY GORGEOUS Active Member

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    Yeah, Im going with the belief that many here have which is everyone who writes includes experiences and events from their life in some way shape or form. As unpleasant as it was I used to be a prison officer and I used it to my advantage when writing certain characters (and a gold mine of stories). I know what a dead body looks and smells like. I've seen various violent forms of self harm (once, a man had snapped two prongs off a plastic fork, making a small spear and shoved the sharp end up his urethra). Have talked to despicable sex offenders, gang members, drug addicts, murderers, robbers, people with mental health issues and on and on the list goes. I kept a little diary with these encounters in and sometimes dip into them for maybe a little help when Im writing criminal characters. So my real life experiences have helped a great deal with aspects of my writing. I use plenty of other things too like family members and their little idiosyncracies and their life stories. I always keep a note pad and pencil incase I come across these little gems I think might be useful.
     

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