Writing Tip: How to Write Fiction from Real Life Experiences
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...
A Realistic Fiction Short Story
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
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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