Do you add personal instances into your stories?
I thought long and hard about this question. I’ve come very close in doing so, bordering on the ebb and flow of memories that wash against me as it mists my face with enticement to slip something in here or there within the paragraphs.
No one will ever know . . .
They won’t think it really happened . . .
Readers will just assume it’s fiction . . .
Perhaps they will. Perhaps it would make good fiction, those intense feelings and emotions I express through my typing fingers to bring the story new life as I push against the borders of what makes a mediocre writer into a great one.
Yet, I’ve never added any type of event from my personal life into my fiction writing. I’m not sure why.
Is it because I never really thought of doing it before? Do I thrill on creating something new, something unheard of, something outside of what I deem as the humdrum life that I endure?
Or perhaps although the reader won’t know it is a real event, I will know in my own mind that it occurred? Does it make me uncomfortable to share personal instances in such a flippant way with fictional characters, teasing and prodding and perhaps tainting them to suit the needs of the story, changing in ways that forever stay within my mind as sadness fills me at the irrevocable loss of those true memories?
Also, what of those people who know my life as they will read the story and see those instances lurking? I suppose that it might feel good for them at times, like a hidden joke a person understands the meaning of two hours later as they let out a guffaw. But what of those instances that might be more of the uncomfortable nature? Will those people shed a tear at the grief unexpectedly visited on them, or will it feel like a slap in the surprised face if the instance might speak of them in a not-so-nice light?
What of them? Should they matter? Will it matter? Are the feelings of others something to be considered?
Then again, perhaps adding a personal instance will make a writer understand their life a little better. Writing it out, placing the character in this situation to make those forthcoming mistakes and choices, might perhaps clarify and uncover exciting new possibilities never considered because the writer can now take a step back to view things at an objective standpoint.
Do you? Have you ever added a personal instance into your fiction writing? How did it turn out? Did it complicate matters? Did it clarify them? Did it just add a bit of spiciness to the story?
Or do you prefer to keep fiction as fiction and reality as reality?
For some strange reason, it felt appropriate to post a photo of myself not wearing a drop of makeup. Perhaps I simply needed to place a bit of the real me into a post talking about fiction writing...
Posted by Michelle H.