Tuesday, December 20, 2016
A Bit More on Where Ideas Come From
I wrote a post recently about how different my life was from those of my characters, but I have a bit more to say on the subject.
A writer friend, who truly helped me along the way, recently wrote to another writer friend that most fiction writers based their stories on what happened in their own lives. She is not a mystery writer and that holds true for the fiction books she's written. I know her well enough that when I read her fiction I knew she had drawn much from her own life.
In my case, though I have used incidents at times that really happened, once I've written it into a story and rearranged and changed it, no one would ever recognize it.
Some of my writing ideas pop into my head unbidden--especially right before I go to sleep. Some I remember, some I don't.
Like many, I read about something that really happened and then think about it and ask, "What if it happened this way instead?" And off I go from there.
I've had people tell me about a crime that happened in their family and though I used it, as I wrote, to fit it into the plot I envisioned, everything changed.
And I can tell you with all honesty, my life is not as exciting as Tempe Crabtree's. I've never been in law enforcement, or solved an actual mystery, I've never seen a murder victim--thank God--though I have seen people who have passed on. (Certainly not the same thing.)
As I often tell people who ask me how I know about certain things--I've lived a long time and had enough experiences to know how people react when things happen. And, you can find out anything on the Internet.
And yes, despite it being holiday season, I am getting some writing done.