Monday, September 5, 2011

Mishaps by Morgan Mandel

Plans have a way of going awry. Mishaps can occur when you least expect them. They can change your immediate or long term future, can be irritating, inconvenient and sometimes cost money.

Take advantage of these mishaps and don't let them go to waste by including them in some shape or form in your plotline.

A while back I was bit in the mouth by a golden retriever, a scary, unexpected experience. One side of my lip was hanging down and I looked a sight. Fortunately, I had a plastic surgeon whom I'd already used for removing skin tags a few times. If he hadn't come to the emergency room to sew me up, I may not have healed properly. One of my characters has a similar experience in Forever Young-Blessing or Curse, but he's not as fortunate as I was. 

That's not the only time I've used a mishap to advantage in one of my books.

At one time I suffered from dizzy spells, shaky hands, and sometimes double vision, which were symptoms of a bout with hypoglycemia, a/k/a low blood sugar. I decided to bequeath a form of this episode in my life to the main character, in my romantic suspense, Killer Career. I wanted her to suffer, wonder what was wrong, yet be able to get better.

I'm probably not the only one who does such mean things to my characters. Tell us what mishaps you've taken advantage of in a plotline of one of your books, or maybe you've noticed one in a book which is similar to something you've experienced.

Morgan Mandel
Killer Career 99 cents on Smashwords
and Kindle, Two Wrongs soon to be
re-released on both also.


Cheryl said...

This is embarrassing, and I can't believe I am going to share it, but here it goes. I went to a strict Catholic school for grades 1- 8. We were always told you could only use the bathroom at lunch time. I was so shy I wouldn't dare ask to go other than that, but one day I couldn't hold it.

Rather than ask our teacher if I could use the restroom, I wet myself. One of my classmates pointed it out and I ran home--the school was across the street. It took a long time for me to live that down.

When I was writing my memoir about trying to fit in, that is the story I started off with. I've kind of given up on completing my story as a memoir, but I still want to create a story about a girl who has a hard time fitting in, and that experience will make it's way in there somehow.

Debra St. John said...

I can't say I've used any of my own personal mishaps in a story, but I did use a bunch of my friends and their kids as brothers and sisters for one of my heroes. They all got a kick of seeing themselves in print!

Morgan Mandel said...

That one is better than the time I get sent out of the room because I was coughing too much!

Morgan Mandel

Maggie Toussaint said...

I used a mishap of sorts in one of my mysteries. To set the record straight, I am a terrible golfer. Very terrible. sure I learned to hit the ball far, but that just means it goes farther out of bounds into the trees. One such woody patch reminded me of a great place to find a murder victim. From that inspiration sprang my Cleopatra Jones mystery series. Her errant golf ball in In For A Penny, lands smack dab on a dead guy.

Maggie Toussaint

Anonymous said...

Hi Morgen, fun to read others' misshaps. One time when I was touring an old, abandoned cemetery for a story, and I'm a grown old lady by then, I had the awful urge to go. No outhouse in sight, nor anything else. I've only told this to one close friend when she revealed a like occurrence. I hung my bare self off a huge rock to prevent a worse happening.
Now, maybe I'll use that someday, I don't know. Now the world or at least the world that reads this blog knows my silly secret.

V.R. Leavitt said...

Oh, I've had plenty of mishaps, but strangely enough, I don't think I have ever used them in a story. LOL