Writing Tip: How to Write Fiction from Real Life Experiences

Don't waste your talent if you have the ability to write creatively about life experiences and tell a revealing story.
Don't waste your talent if you have the ability to write creatively about life experiences and tell a revealing story. | Source

I have a friend who is retired and who likes to send me emails explaining his life experiences. He has the ability to express his views in a very meaningful and enlightening way. This is a talent that I feel should not be wasted.

I once told him that he has a knack for writing and he should put his creativity to use. I tried to motivate him to apply his abilities rather than waste them.

For that matter, I feel that he missed his calling. I think he would have made a good college English professor. For reasons he keeps to himself, he never pursued a successful career. This is sad, because he is one of the most intelligent people I know. He has a great command of the English language, he likes to write, he expresses himself well, and he lets all that go to waste.

Does this sound like you? Are you holding yourself back? Are you aware of your abilities and for some reason you are wasting your life away? Not applying your talents to make a huge success of yourself to reap the rewards and have a happy life?

I hope I'm not upsetting you, but maybe I'm waking you up. I never was able to wake up my friend. Let me give you an example of his writing talent.

The Example of Realistic Fiction

My friend recently sent me an email describing one day when he took a walk and met a lady whom he spoke with on a park bench.

I thought the story in that email was spectacular! I told him he could take what he wrote and expand on it, maybe adding fiction to enhance the story. I explained to him that this is a talent he has that he should apply.

Even if he doesn’t make much money from it, his way of writing might lead to other endeavors. Who knows, maybe a film producer might offer him a job to write a movie script. Don’t laugh. You can dream! Besides, these things will never happen at all if you don’t put yourself out there.

As I was saying, I mentioned this to him and he suggested that I should publish his story to see what happens.

I didn't want to do that under my name since he wrote it. However, he doesn't want to have his identity on the Internet, so he gave me permission to publish it.

How about this for a thought. Pick an e-mail of mine that you rather like, you publish it in your Hubs under your name, and we'll see what kind of responses it gets.

— My Anonymous Friend

Instead of just publishing his short story, I decided to write this article explaining how one can use their life experience to write realistic fiction. I felt that one of the emails he had sent me would work well as an example; of course, with his approval.

So here it is...

Meeting Christina

A Realistic Fiction Short Story

I went over and sat next to a rather nice looking lady.
I went over and sat next to a rather nice looking lady. | Source

Sunday Sweetcakes wouldn't come to visit me because she's mad at me, so I went downtown. I walked there, and sat on a bench facing the dock and watching the boats come and go.

After a while the sun got a little too intense where I was sitting so I went over and sat next to a rather nice looking lady. The lady had a very good figure, red hair, and was just a little shorter than me.

Naturally I started a conversation. She seemed rather intelligent, wore just a little too much makeup, and lives only three to five miles from here. We talked for well over an hour.

Somebody with a long white beard left the dock rowing a small rowboat. I smiled and said, "He looks like Walt Whitman with that beard".

She didn't reply.

"You know,” I said, “Walt Whitman thought everything was cosmic."

“Oh really?” she said.

So I quoted Whitman: "I celebrate myself, and I sing myself, and what I assume you shall assume, for every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you."

I continued to tell her, “Walt Whitman thought that everything was part of everything else -- everything was part of the universe. We are all cosmic beings.”

Christina -- the lady's name was Christina -- said that she felt the same way.

After a while the sun moved onto our bench. I mentioned that in the past, a long, long time ago, people used to think the sun revolved around the earth. “After all,” I said, “the earth was God's creation and therefore the center of the universe.”

She just nodded.

“Funny,” I said, “people mention ‘sunrise’, but the sun doesn't rise. The earth is turning. It ought to be called ‘earth-turn’ or something like that.”

She said, "Gee, I never thought of that!"

After a while it got too hot where we were sitting, and I said, "Let's go get an ice tea or something like that". So we went to the Copenhagen Bakery, right there on Woodbine Avenue, across from the park.

I smiled as we walked up the steps and asked her if she knew where Copenhagen is. She said, "Belgium, isn't it?” I had to tell her "Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark."

It was great to meet someone new.

My Comments About His Story

Talking about whatever comes to mind.
Talking about whatever comes to mind. | Source

Notice how he draws in the reader. He begins with a strong emotion of loss, hinting how his girlfriend's attention is fading away.

Then he leads right into the experience of meeting someone new and how well they seem to relate as they sit by the dock watching the boats and talking about whatever comes to mind.

He includes some interesting tidbits of knowledge that has nothing to do with the story line. However, more importantly, it adds value in the sense that it shows how one can attract another person who knows nothing about you, yet.

His short story not only has meaningful lessons hidden between the lines, but it also can be the beginning of a full-fledged novel, in my opinion.

All it takes is talent, ability, and the desire to do it!

© 2015 Glenn Stok

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Comments 19 comments

Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 11 months ago from Saginaw, Michigan

It is wonderful that you can see the talent and then, at the very least offer encouragement. I often do the same with my writer associates. In the end the best writing project ever for me was to do write a non-fiction novel with Amara about her so very sad childhood with a father from hell. It was a great seller as there is ton of readers who had similar experiences and love to read. And I met her moments after she wrote her first HUB. I could hear the voice crying out and answered the call.

It would appear we are on similar paths, my friend.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia

I can relate to this Glenn. I am a little like your friend and kept most of my writing to myself and family until I found HubPages which was my impetus to take writing more seriously.

Your friend's email story is engaging and I agree it could be taken further and developed into a full story at least. You did the right thing trying to encourage him. Thank you for sharing this.

annasmom profile image

annasmom 11 months ago

Nice that you recognize talent in others and encourage them. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies with self-doubt. The story is engaging and I agree he has a knack!

Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 11 months ago from Long Island, NY Author

Reynold Jay - Sounds like you hit upon the best method for writing success, when you can find a topic where a ton of readers have similar experiences. Thanks for your comment.

Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 11 months ago from Long Island, NY Author

Jodah - Your comment should help him recognize what he can do, especially the idea of further developing the story.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 11 months ago from The Caribbean

I agree. I could see that story developing into a novel about friendship and or romance. Maybe with your persistence, your friend might come around. He really is a good writer, and you are too!

Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 11 months ago from Long Island, NY Author

MsDora - Thanks Dora. Maybe he'll consider it when he sees all the nice comments such as yours.

Venkatachari M profile image

Venkatachari M 11 months ago from Hyderabad, India

Your friend is more like me, I think. Very hesitant and shy person who does not like public attention. I used to be like that all my life. Only after retirement, I developed being social and wanting to drag attention.

You are much good enough to give encouragement and advice to your friend. He should come forward with his skills and do something, if not for money at least for self satisfaction and for spreading his knowledge.

Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 11 months ago from Long Island, NY Author

Venkatachari M - Very good comment. I'll make sure he checks back again and sees what you said.

VirginiaLynne profile image

VirginiaLynne 11 months ago from United States

Whether or not someone writes things that are read by others, the process of writing is enriching to our lives. Still, it helps our writing process and ability when we have in mind an audience which is bigger than our own thoughts.

Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 11 months ago from Long Island, NY Author

VirginiaLynne - Very good point Virginia. Knowing our audience is a very important part of it.

Vellur profile image

Vellur 11 months ago from Dubai

So true even if we have the talent and ability we should have the courage publish what we write.

Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 11 months ago from Long Island, NY Author

Vellur - Right you are. Unfortunately not everyone has the courage for one reason or the other.

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 10 months ago from USA

Who told him he couldn't write? Who told him he wasn't good enough? He has internalized this message and taken it on as his own. Stop it! Time is ticking on all of us. Tell him he's good enough and get out there and just do this thing, even if it's under a pseudonym. Stop trying to be perfect because you're really good. Don't fall prey to the coulda woulda shouldas.

Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 10 months ago from Long Island, NY Author

FlourishAnyway - Thanks Shelley. That's what I've been trying to tell him all along. And I was hoping the positive feedback might convince him. He has been watching the comments here in the first few weeks after posting this, but he still doesn't want to apply his talents.

He didn't even want to post his own comment here publicly although he emailed me saying he was surprised at the positive response. He tells me he doesn't ever want to do anything online. So writing is limited to private emails to his friends.

I think you hit upon something, he might have internalized some weird message he learned early in life that misguided him. Maybe just knowing that might wake up the hidden person inside of him. I'll make sure he sees your comment.

gerimcclym profile image

gerimcclym 10 months ago from Colorado

Thank you for writing this article and for sharing your friend's short story. I agree that your friend has a true talent for writing and I hope he will continue to write. Based on the story he wrote as well as what you have shared about him, perhaps writing a book of short stories might interest him more than writing a novel (which may seem overwhelming to many of us, especially me). Your article has very much encouraged me to continue writing. I have always enjoyed it but only recently started to focus on it more seriously. HubPages has been a wonderful platform for it and the hub community is a blessing. Thank you again for your article.

Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 10 months ago from Long Island, NY Author

gerimcclym - Thanks for your words of encouragement. I'll make sure he will see what you wrote. I'm glad I had something to do with encouraging you too.

Happymommy2520 profile image

Happymommy2520 4 months ago from East Coast

I though your friend's story was great. It really did draw me in and created imagery that was very enjoyable. I also liked how you were creative enough to transform this experience into an article. You both are very clever!

Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 4 months ago from Long Island, NY Author

Happymommy2520 - Thanks for letting me know how his story affected you Aimee, and how you felt about the method I used to integrate it into this article. My intention was to show him how people react. Your feedback is very important. Thank you.

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