One Writer’s Journey

November 17, 2014

Fiction Based on Real Life

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:10 am
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life based fictionHave you ever tried writing a fiction story based on an event in your own life?  It can be really tough.  You want to write it the way that it happened and not change a thing.

But that doesn’t generally work.  No matter how true the story might be, it still need to work as a story.  That means that:

Motivations have to exist.  In real life, you might have done something on a whim.  “Let’s try this and see what happens.” That’s a lot harder to pull off in fiction.  Your character has to want something specific and she has to have a reason for wanting it.  The same holds true for your antagonist.  He can’t want to mess things up for your protagonist for no reason what-so-ever even if that seemed to be the case in real life.  Your story has to function as a story.

Coincidence needs to be minimized in your story.  Things can’t just randomly happen.  Yes, that might be the way it happend in real life, because coincidents really do happen all the time.  You look out the window just in time to see something happen.  You show up a half hour early and miss a huge wreck on the highway.  That’s fine . . . in real life.  But too many coincidents in a story make it look like you did a bad job of planning things out.

You have to make the real event work as a story and that will require making changes to what really happened.  To find out about writing fiction based on a real historic event, read my post from yesterday at the Muffin.

–SueBE

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