One of my writer friends is working on a novel that is loosely based on their life. And today I received an e-mail from my friend about how they didn’t want to change parts of the story that another beta and I had questioned because that’s the way it really was. I will get back to my friend in person, but thought it was a good point to bring up on here as well.
Reality, in general, does not make a good story. Not as good a story, at least.
I think sometimes the solution to this is to take a character that’s based on real life and stretch them to an extreme. The shopaholic books by Sophie Kinsella come to mind. That main character is a nut job, but it’s fun to read about her because she’s so over the top. She doesn’t just like to shop. She does ridiculous and stupid things in order to shop.
Most of us are boring. (The inspiration for a short story I wrote last month that just made the second round of review somewhere. Squee! I’m so not up on the internet lingo, but I think that’s what you do when you’re excited on-line.)
Most of our lives are not worth writing about in the form that they exist.
I think I talked about this before. It’s that idea that if you tried to write about some great romantic relationship in your life that the story would fall flat or drag along. No one else cares that your romantic interest wore green on Wednesday. Green! (Well, unless you make them care through your writing. But chances are that giving a blow-by-blow of how the color green came to signify something to your with respect to that particular person isn’t going to work. You have to take the basic events and twist them somehow.)
Anyway. Just a short thought. I wrenched my shoulder this weekend and typing hurts a lot and I have to spend the whole day typing for that job that pays the bills, so I will stop here.