Thursday, July 26, 2012

Turning life into fiction

"My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living."

This is sooo true for me. How about you? You see something while shopping in the mall or hear something while waiting in line at the grocery store and you file it away  to use in your writing. Often we know that it's a moment to save. It happens and there's this little voice that says, "I'm going to make my character say that or do that."

For example, a co-worker's mom recently shared a story of how she found an empty container of icing hidden under his bed when he was younger. The container had drawn ants. BINGO! That's a great thing for the protagonist to do in my newest middle grade.

I have a notebook that I use to record snippets of conversations I hear or jot down observations (The front teeth of the man who works at the store are uneven. One is higher then the other.) I also use it to collect unusual or funny names. Mock, the teacher in my newest middle grade, was the last name of someone I "met" on Twitter.

How about you? What's an idea or observation from real life that ended up in your fiction?    


  1. Ideas pop into my head all the time - in fact, one just popped in while i was reading blogs this evening, something t6hat will help me with my new toy, something about inciting incidents :)

  2. If you want another story FOR YOUR YA protagonist, I once went in search of a horrid smell in Christian's room. The source was a cup of what once had been milk or some other dairy product that had turned to a yogurt-y solid form. It was hidden in the corner, shielded from view by a dresser and a bookshelf.