Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pummeling Our Own Memories Into Fodder

How much do you draw from your own life when creating? Do you snag the essence, or capture entire experiences?

I'm asking because I've mostly stayed away from literal recreations of my own life. Not sure why. Maybe because it is easier to force fictional events into making sense. My own life is messy and difficult to sum up. Other worlds are just more interesting.

But, yesterday I punched out a short story loosely based on something that happened to me as a child. The story is close enough that those involved would recognize it, but different enough that they would scratch their heads and say, "That isn't how it happened." But, I like it. That may not have been how it happened, but that's how it felt. Years later, that is what it means to me.

It's interesting to see the events of my childhood starting to shift into patterns that can actually be captured. I wonder what this means.

What about you? Have you ever been your own inspiration?

Currently Listening:
Kate Bush - This Woman's Work


  1. I use a lot of inspiration from real life. Maybe a snatch of conversation or a specific emotion, but not an entire event I suppose. Interesting to think about though. The things that happen around me definitely effect my writing.

  2. I'm the same way. I'll get ideas from all kinds of random snippets, but rarely try to write out a whole event. That's probably a sign of why we both write fantasy. ;)

  3. I probably do a little bit of both but if I'm drawing from real life I usually change something to make the story its own thing.

    Also I am passing the Stylish Blogger award on to you. Come to my blog to check it out.

  4. Okay, I LOVE that Kate Bush song! I have to go youtube it now.

    But first...I have been inspired by myself. My emotions, fears, hurts, have at one point or another been twisted into my poetry or fiction. I'm a minefield of writeable stuff, well disguised, of course.

  5. I definitely pull on my own experience as fodder for writing, especially emotions!

  6. Carrie - Thanks so much! That's awesome! I'll be posting soon. :) I think I'm like you in that I don't want to just copy something directly from life. Gotta give it a spin so that it can have its own life without me.

    Lydia - Seriously, right? Every few months I'll just pop on some Kate Bush and smile. Minefield is a good description. Now I have a mental image of you tiptoeing through a war-zone and trying to extract useable emotions without getting blown up.

    Jessica - Sometimes knowing that you can write about your emotional responses makes having those emotions justified, right? Hmmm... maybe. I'll keep thinking about that.

  7. KidSarah stories intrigue me completely (such insight into the mind) but at the same time they are scary... I guess I am afraid of the big bad momma doing something completely embarrassing! Be sure and change it to the big bad uncle or someone else!

  8. Yes, pieces of me pepper my stories, if not literally, then my concerns, obsessions, dreams.
    BTW, thanks for your comment on my blog--I'm following you now.