Yes, if you’re going to write an autobiography and claim to jump out of planes, you’d better damn well be jumping out of those planes.
But what about writing fiction?
Wait, did someone gasp, “I don’t know anything! I work in an office and come home to have dinner with my husband and dog and watch TV. I’m boring!”
Ridiculous. No, not the part about your day. The part where you say you’re boring.
Everyone has a story to tell. That’s the true stuff. When comforting a child who froze in front of the class, it helps to have a similar story of how it happened to you (or your sister) and how it got better.
What a fiction writer does is take that experience and say, “What if?”
What if, when remembering the story of how you got called to the front of the classroom as a kid and didn’t know the answer, a slug crawled through the window, expanded, and ate the teacher?
What if it happened in college, and as you stood there in misery, someone screamed down the hall that the despised administrator was found slumped over his desk with student IDs stuffed in his mouth?
What if you sat in your cubicle trying to read a mindless report and armloads of fake roses suddenly littered your area with a note asking you to have lunch with the cute guy you liked on the next floor?
What if the above examples were descriptions of the human offerings listed on a menu at a vampires restaurant, Flavors of the Night?
You’ve got stories. Some are true, some are complete figments of your imagination. But the main thing to remember is that you are unique. Your stories and thought processes are based on who you are. Go have fun.
* Image courtesy of Just2shutter at FreeDigitalPhotos.net