Writing from our own drama

Reader-cat-edited-I was telling a fellow writer the other day some drama I experienced in my teen years when my family endured a harrowing experience of being stalked. Like some B-movie, the guy would call and threaten to kill us, to blow up our house, or vehicles would be vandalized under the cloak of night.  I remember once my sister finished some laundry in the cellar, only to find the guy right outside the house, watching her. I never realized the potential of a thriller story until my fellow writer mentioned it to me. “Your stories are gold!”

I think he has a good point there. What better way to write than from experience, especially if you came out the other side a stronger or wiser person? Even the little stories I shared with our group about my childhood often brought laughter, so comedy writing might be in my future as well.

My point is that each writer offers a wellspring of ideas straight from their life. Don’t be shy about spinning tales out of your past, even embellishing a little to add to the drama.

Rod Serling of the Twilight Zone fame wrote his stories from dreams, his life in the military, and his boxing days. A real pet raven named Grip inspired Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven. Edith Warton wrote her stories based on first hand experience with the well to do lifestyle of a woman of station.

So consider your own life, the personal dramas you lived through, and tell the tale to others. Who  knows? Maybe a grand novel will come of it.


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