|The author, Dane F. Baylis|
How Much Of My Real Life Experience Is In My Writing And Why?
For a moment I considered getting all philosophical in this one, but I've changed my mind. I think a straight forward answer might serve better. That answer would be, A LOT!
It depends on what I'm writing and what I'm trying to convey. In almost any of my grittier works I would say there's quite a bit more than in other places. Locations, settings within those locations. The people that inhabit these constructs. Their physical characteristics, speech patterns, modes of dress, how they carry themselves. This is where I grew up and lived and all of it is right there, playing on the movie screen on the back of my eyelids.
My own experiences are there also, sometimes as some part of a main character or as that fly on the wall observer. I have led a diverse and rich life, full of emotion and actions to draw on and use. It has been full of some truly memorable people, some noble, some base...Most just doing what anyone does, trying to get through the whole thing with a little bit of style and dignity. I have learned some very real lessons from them. I have never been a crime boss, but I have known the type. I have never been a teen age girl, but I have been very close friends, and more, with a few. I have never been a priest suffering a crisis of faith, but I know what self doubt feels like.
There have been times of incredible good fortune and horrible depravity in my life. I have felt like a king and a raving loon (one hard on the heels of the other). I have been loved and hated, celebrated and despised. These are the ingredients, more than anything else, that show up in what I write because these are the things I "know" and what it takes to create a character with depth, vulnerability and passion. It would be a shame to have survived the journeys I have made in this life and not have something to take away from it all.
And anyway, isn't that the real key to convincing writing? We are capable of concocting any kind of outlandish bullshit, but why? Our lives are full of people and occurrences. Some of them are profound, but most are truly subtle. Why not draw on that ever filling pool of material that we live in. Yes, you may be working on Star Wars, or Twilight, or Cloud Atlas and no one has ever inhabited THOSE worlds...But the bars, and woods, and streets...the personalities, characters, emotions...These are all common to everyone of us and isn't the secret to a good story to tell the common in an uncommon way? Isn't what makes YOU care about a story, its characters, their trials and triumphs, how much YOU can relate to them. Where else do you find that if not in YOUR life, YOUR mind and YOUR heart?
Just a helpful hint from your Uncle Dane.
Accepting short fiction to 1200 words, poetry to 25 lines, and carefully crafted essays for the Your Work/Your Love page. Nope, still no pay, just glorious exposure! You can send your work to me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Authors retain all rights. You can also follow or subscribe to this blog. There are gadgets for that on the right side of this page. I love the company and it helps with the search engine ranking. Comments, critiques, and questions are always answered in as timely a manner as I can manage between my day job, writing, studies, blah, blah, blah. There's a form at the bottom of the page for your use.
In the meantime, remember...live, love, write.
Dane F. Baylis