Friday, August 14, 2009

Writing About Past Experiences

One of the books I’m currently working on focuses on a period in my life that I would rather soon forget. Originally I had no intensions of writing about it. I never even dreamed of it, actually.

Then the month of July rolled around. When I’m forced to write (or I would feel stupid when I can’t even write 1,000 words each day of a single month and have to post my shame on the blog) I tend to just stare at the page and nothing happens. I need to be in a frame of mind to get the words down (or GOOD words I should say). During July’s 1k-a-day challenge on the blog, I was stuck on Parlor (my other WIP). I needed to write my 1,000 words and I had already spent too much time staring at the screen and the flashing cursor. Not even thinking, I opened a blank document in Word and started to type. Before I realized what I was writing, I was several pages into telling my story.

I now feel I need to write down my story. Many authors have taken their life experiences and made them into fiction novels that are moving, interesting and can help so many people who may be in the same situation. The first book/series that comes to mind is Ellen Hopkin’s Crank and Glass. She took a hard time in her family’s life and turned it into an amazingly moving two book story. I poured through both books (and all of her books for that matter. If you’ve never read Ellen Hopkins, stop reading this blog post and go to your local library/bookstore right now! TRUST ME!). Not only have the books been hugely successful, but Ellen has talked about how she gets fan mail stating her books have helped so many teens.

Right now, I’m happy to write my story. I’m going to write it as I know it, but I plan go back in a second draft (if it even gets that far) and change it to read as fiction. We’ll see what happens. It’s good therapy if nothing else.

Have you taken a life experience and either used it as a main plot point, or woven it into a story?

1 comment:

Tracy Belsher said...

Great post, Tami. Writing is such an outlet - I don't know how I'd survive without it. All stories have elements of truth - some more than others. I know your new WIP will put you through the wringer, but the story will be amazing!