Have you ever read something; a character having a thrilling near-death encounter, a painfully detailed scene of a child’s mother dying, or an excruciating injury and thought…
Wow. I wonder if the author actually experienced this.
I hate to break it to you, but chances are… The author is just really good at their craft and has never gone through anything like it 😉 What? Is that not what you thought I was going to say?
Okay, being serious now. The statement above can absolutely be true. In a way, both sides of the spectrum are correct. So much can be gleaned from research and hearing first-hand experiences. But, personally, (And I am speaking entirely from my own journey here. Every writer is different.) I’ve found my writing excels when I wrote about things near and dear to my heart. When I take things from from my own life (Life events, feelings, things I’m passionate about…), twist them, give them to a character, add more than a touch of dramatic effect… And BAM. You’ve got a full length short story about envy, abduction, and tragedy 😀
I’ll use my short story Let Her Go as an example.
When I started out, the story just wasn’t working. I had an adorable concept that I loved, but the plot was far removed from my life at the time. Try as I might, I could not seem to put myself into the story. And it was bland and dull as a result. So, instead of continuing with the original idea, I poured my own experiences and feelings into the characters. I gave them some of my humanistic flaws, extending them and giving out new ones. As I started pouring out experiences with hurt friendships, my passion for repentance, loneliness and sadness from my own life… the story came alive. No longer was it a flat, uninteresting plot with no passion from the author. It was a story with life and meaning 🙂
All that to say… Write what you love and care about 🙂 Write using the experiences God has given you!
Next time you have a strong emotion, be it anger, fear, excitement, or sadness, sit down and write what that feels like. When you are actually in the moment. Go somewhere private, write down how you feel, what you’re thinking, how you’re standing or sitting, and what you are doing with your body. Do you feel cold? Is your heart racing? Does a smile seem to appear on your face no matter how hard you try to make it go away?
Tell me what you think!
Do you want more writing prompts?
What do you like about writing what you know?
How do you go about writing something you’ve never experienced before?
Till next time!