Writing comes in many forms. In the past, I’ve practiced writing, song, poem, essay, commentary, non-fiction, and auto-biography. About a year ago, I started to write a story about my own childhood experiences. To protect the innocent, and the guilty, I needed to change names of people, names of places, and timelines. In the process, I discovered something wonderful.
Writing fictional works based on reality is a sure way to create believable stories. My first book, A Train Called Forgiveness, is more reality than fiction. However, I took creative license and used metaphor, analogy, and other rhetorical devices to give the story more energy. The end result is a book I would categorize as fiction, but is really as much or more an auto-biography. My second book, The Man Who Died Twice, stems from reality, but leads to places less certain. I have to “make up” more of the story. Yet as I write, I still find myself mirroring my own life experiences. For example, in life, I’m a single father with a young daughter and a dog. The main character of the story The Man Who Died Twice is also a single father with a dog.
It goes back to some wise old advice for writers: “write what you know.” Sure, you can create fictional, scenes, characters, and events, but when you add little pieces of your own experiences into the mix, something magical happens. The story gains a sense of reality that lends honesty to your writing. So add pieces of yourself into your fictional work. I think you’ll be happy with the results.