Using Real Life to Change Fiction
It never ceases to amaze me how a messed up situation in real life can change the pace of a fiction story one is composing.
Currently I am in the middle of the lives of Jack and Anastasia and they have now found that they have evil neighbors in their desert. Hrmm. Wonder where that came from? Well, I certainly love my neighbors. Even the evil ones that have no idea how being nice really works. As a writer, it amazes me how things can take a turn in a story that you are writing and you don’t even intend for it to go down that path.
What happens is this:
You are walking along, minding your own business. Listening to your footsteps as you travel down this storybook road ( your footsteps are sounding like your fingers hacking away a the keys-keep your pinkies up while typing!) and you see this little less travelled path along the side of the road. Oh, you note it alright but you keep walking. Only, your stride slows down as you think about that path. You think. You stew. You think and you stew. You think until you come to a stop and look around you. There is nothing but untouched field and warm sunshine all around you and you stand there.
That paths presence simply will not leave the back of your mind. At some point, as if hypnotized, you do an about face and you find yourself standing at the top of the path…wondering. Should you take it? Should you keep going? You know if you keep going in the direction you were, you will always wonder. You wonder this as you stand before said path and turn your face to the setting sun. This is the same direction you were heading in the first place. Hmm. The setting sun. Interesting. Maybe something is trying to give you a message. That path leads to an ending that your mind knows so well. The plan you had laid out for this story to travel. The path that you know how it is going to be. However.
However, you are at this new, unexpected thing. This crossroads and you have to take it. You ask for opinions of others and they all say…go for it! What makes it even more interesting is that you once wrote a small blurb when you were experiencing a writing prompt and you had requests to finish it. While you had no full story to go with that blurb, that one situation that led to this interruption of the field you are waking by and the path that so raptly has your attention now has a place in your story. That blurb and where this path leads go hand in hand and make perfect sense for the direction you know the story could go.
Do you take it? Life is about taking chances. While us writers are not ones to go out and do parkour or ride a skateboard off a ramp some 500 feet in the air, these are the chances we take. Is this the making of a great story? In my mind it may be.
It makes me wonder how many paths are along the stories that I read. I now understand where “the Wind Through the Keyhole” by Stephen King came from. When I first discovered that story I was in pure bliss to find another book to the whole Gunslinger collection. When I read the intro, I thought it strange for the author to label it as Gunslinger 4.5. However, it fit right in between books 4 and 5 of that story. Funny how paths are created and how they come into existence.
Have you ever come across a less beaten path? Did you take it? Where did it lead you?
What do YOU think?
DISCLAIMER: This post is used by its author on several social media sites and cannot be reproduced otherwise.