This week we are asked: Have you ever observed a gathering of family or friends and thought that an incident there would make a good scene in a book?
Many things in my life make good topics for stories, I believe. One of my dearest friends, (God rest her soul), would email me and ask for the latest episode of her own, personal soap opera; in other words, what was happening that day in my life. (I wrote a poem about that friend when she was approaching her too-soon death, but I have yet to submit it.)
When I was growing up, our holidays were very much like the Thanksgivings in the movie, “Avalon”. Since it garnered many awards and nominations, I know our situations could be interesting. (There are many similarities between Jewish and Italian families. My father and other non-Italians who married into our family just went with it.)
I have written several poems about family members or situations. I suppose instead of them being isolated, they could easily be part of a bigger story. (Hmmm. I’ll have to give that more thought.)
One adventuresome evening which everyone I related it to told me to put to paper, I made into a play, (with a few alterations). I recently reworked it into readable form, or so I thought. A writer friend offered to beta read it and threw me off, since she didn’t quite get the tenor of my story. I am determined to get going again on that one.
[Amazing how fragile writers can be over their work, even when they know they have it down.]
Also, the one ‘romance’ novel I intend to finish has a number of it-happened-to-me scenes, or it-could-have-gone-this-way-with-us scenes, especially between the husband and wife. I am not sure that my husband will appreciate the true ones, nor will he want others to believe the made-up ones.
I’m going to be working on him, too.
My husband does think I should write a few supernatural stories from my experiences…we’ll see. I am rather leery of claiming them as non-fiction or admitting how much of the tales are true. I could go with some things that happened and add imagination, I suppose. Sometimes, it wouldn’t have to be much! I guess no one would have to know that any of it had happened.
I don’t need any more weirdos around me.
Stephen King added an experience or two of his to his books. I had one story started based on something someone told me of their own experiences. I intend on only using what happened to her only as a basis and running (my imagination) with it. Will that story ever be finished? We can hope.
One comment from a friend who was called up to be part of a magician’s act inspired a story that is finished and need polishing. I’m letting it simmer and letting my mind take a step back from it. I find that to be necessary, especially in lieu of beta readers.
I’ve said for many years that if I wrote about my life, no one would believe it. I’d not only have to list it as ‘fiction’, I’d probably have to go so far as to categorize it as ‘science fiction’, with all the unusual people and circumstances I have managed to attract. And I am not even talking about anything ‘supernatural’!
No, the aliens haven’t landed in my yard. I just have had many hard-to-believe situations. Elmore Leonard said of writing stories: “It doesn’t have to make sense, it just has to sound like it does.”
My family doesn’t always seem to make sense. Maybe my job is to write their anecdotes/drama/comedy so that it does make sense, or at least, appears to.