Monday, June 11, 2012
Layers of Life
How much of real life makes it into your writing?
For fiction, do you:
Choose character traits or physical features from people you interact with or know?
Form settings based on where you've lived or visited?
Create a plot from events you've experienced or heard about?
Taken ideas from all of the above?
For non-fiction, do you:
Gather snippets of ideas from Facebook posts?
Generate an article from an encounter with a rude customer service rep?
Turn a journal entry into a poem?
Grab an idea from a cereal box for a sidebar in a children's magazine?
Ideas are everywhere, aren't they?
Not just on the surface, but in between, among the layers of life - past, present, or perhaps even under the kitchen sink. That's the beauty of it, you just never know. Something jumps out at you, or glides across your path, unnoticed at first. Before you know it, it's woven itself into an idea, right there in your head.
I had an idea emerge this weekend while talking to my brother in law, our family's historical expert. We were discussing one of my Pennsylvania ancestors who died during the Civil War on a battlefield in Kentucky, not far from where I live.
I pondered, and wondered.
This ancestor's gaze roamed the rolling hills I see everyday!
Did he compare the landscape to his home? It is similar.
Did he think about how that war would affect future generations? My family and I are among them.
The ideas run wild in my brain, fiction and non fiction, and it started with a discovery my brother in law made.
Like I said, you just never know...:)
Where did your last writing idea hit you? When was the last time you found a good idea between the layers?
Happy writing adventures,
Photo credit: Stock Exchange