Monday, March 6, 2017

Our Lives, Our Writing

by Linda O. Johnston

Last time I was here, I wrote about using reality.  I described losing a beloved dog, Lexie, then acquiring a puppy, Cari, to be a new friend for our remaining dog Mystie.

And I discussed how I would try to use these experiences in my upcoming writing.  It's what I do.  I'm a writer.

I also find it fascinating to see how other fiction writers do the same thing: take experiences in their lives and find ways to use them in their novels.  And why not?  It's a lot easier to manipulate an idea based on reality and turn it into something we can live with than it is, at least sometimes, to have to deal with that reality.  Plus, it does help us get past difficult circumstances--or use good things that happen in a way to keep them real.

That seems to be so with at least some of my fellow InkSpot bloggers.  For one thing, I'm sure those of you reading this can understand how much I empathized with what Tj O'Connor recently wrote in his blog: the pain of his loss after his beloved dog died.  As I mentioned, that's been a major issue in my life, too.  Will Tj use the experience, the emotions, in an upcoming book?  I won't be surprised if he does.

Then, also recently, Tracy Weber described on her InkSpot post about learning to be a doula--a yoga program to help in delivery of a baby.  She used that in her most recent Downward Dog Mystery, A Fatal Twist--an excellent book, BTW.

Others here and elsewhere have done the same thing--using their life experiences as research in books they write.  As I mentioned in my last post, cozy mystery writers often use themes in their series that are important parts of their own lives.

It's not only a thing fiction writers do, either.  If you learn something important in your life, find another way to use it.  Tell others.  Teach it to your kids.  Incorporate it as a hobby.  Change your career.

Has that ever worked for you?

BTW, right now I consider myself on the countdown till the publication of my next Barkery & Biscuits Mystery from Midnight Ink: Bad to the Bone.  It's fiction, of course, but originated as much of my work does from the reality of how much I love dogs. 

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