Still writing, still waiting on a visa, still blah blah blah. Nothing new has happened for the past while, so I will be skipping the ‘what’s new with me’ section and just leaping directly into the post.
Sometimes when I’m writing I like to draw on things that happen to me in real life. I think that it can add a lot of personal flavor to a story and give a bit more depth to the way that the characters interact with the plot (and one another). The problem that I have, though, is making sure that I’m not directly copying a real world event. In a few instances I’ve put together a scene that I like, but upon rereading it, I realize that it might strike a little bit too close to reality.
Now, there are a few reasons that I don’t like to directly mimic the world in my books. First of all, and probably most obviously, is that people very well might take offense to it. If I blend up what happened with a few other bits of story from the book then the event is a bit harder to realize fully. The people in question might recognize similarities with what’s happening, but with any luck they won’t be able to pick out exactly what I’ve copies (from the real world). I suppose there’s always the chance to offend someone, and other artists do go out of their way just to do that, but I figure if I can get what I want out of a scene and not make someone mad at the same time, that’s probably the way to do it.
The other reason that I like to mix things up a bit is because half the time it just won’t fit unless I do. I like for everything in my book to have a purpose to the story. If I can delete a scene and no one notices (it has no greater impact on the story) then it really didn’t need to be there in the first place. If something is directly out of my life then I’m going to have to do some shuffling make it work to be a part of the characters’ lives. I suppose this would be different if the whole book was about me going around and doing stuff, but that might be a bit boring. Rather, there’s more often than not fanciful aspects of the story going on all around the characters, and if these are suddenly absent from an interaction or event it stats to show. Laying one atop the other and letting them blend, in my opinion, is really a simple way to bring something interesting from your (my) life into a story that’s not about you (or me) at all.