Taking Inspiration for Novels from Real Life (Guest Post)
Now, about taking inspiration for your story from real life events. It's been said, "Truth is odder than fiction" and it's true. Just watch the evening or morning news sometime and the story you hear will absolutely make your mind whirl. Real life is messy, and not convenient, and the weirdest things happen at the weirdest times. We often scoff at books which have a heroine whose husband/fiancé/boyfriend left her for her best friend/sister/cousin/mother but this happens all the time in real life.
Of course, there are also problems with using a real life event, such as claims of being 'too farfetched' or not making the event your own. I don't in any way advocate for taking a sensational news story and writing it word for word what the media claims in your book. Good lord, NO. Inspiration means (according to definitions.net): 1. an inspiring or animating action or influence; 2. something inspired, as an idea and so on. So put your own spin on it. For example, for my current release, 'When You Believe', two main events inspired this novella.
The first inspirational event began with my fellow author Monica Corwin who decided to have a 'write-a-thon', where authors would write for forty-eight hours. To inspire us more (see, there's that word, or the root of that word, again), Monica upped the stakes: For every one thousand words written, a donation would be made to the Wounded Warrior Project (short note: Never heard of this project? Visit the web site http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org). So not only were authors writing for bragging rights to say, 'Hey, I wrote 10,000 or 5,000 words in a weekend!' authors were writing for a cause, for a charity, and for something bigger than simply the joy of writing and storytelling. Inspiration for a cause is, to me, one of the best reasons to write. The main reason remains, to me, because you have to tell the story in your mind, heart, and soul but I digress.
The second inspirational event was a television show. I was watching the program 'Urban Legends' (okay, truthfully, I was procrastinating because I had writer's block, it was Saturday afternoon and I was stressed over failing the write-a-thon, having to admit I wrote no words, and disappointing my friend Monica—but no pressure, none at all). If you haven't heard of this show, it's a bit of 'reality TV' where 3-4 stories are shown and viewers have to guess which 1 story is real and which are completely legend or made up. There was a story in that episode about a church and how the choir members were all late one night for practice. I had heard this story before, so I immediately knew this wasn't a 'legend' it was the true one. It made me start thinking.
I can't reveal much more since I used this true story as a pivotal scene in 'When You Believe', or as River Song in Doctor Who would say, "Spoilers!". I did not take this story word for word. Nor did I even use the heart of it or any of the people featured. I took the bones of this real life event (people in danger) and made it my own. My characters began, finally, to talk to me and speak, yell, and sob out their stories. Viola! When You Believe was born.
I began to type furiously and wrote the main portion of When You Believe in the rest of that weekend. I earned 'bragging rights' to say I participated in the write-a-thon. I earned money for the Wounded Warrior Project. Best of all, I had a story I loved, believed in, and couldn't wait to submit to my editor (after much rewriting and self editing first). Now when you read When You Believe, you can see the 'real life' event which inspired me. And some slightly mouthy characters.
So when you need inspiration for your novel or short story or novella, try looking at real life. See what speak to you, what jumps out, or what softly whispers in your ear. You might be surprised where that inspiration will take you.
About the Book
Dan and Monica's relationship gets a push from a handsome stranger, but will their love survive the test?
Monica has deep roots in the small town of Abbeville and manages the local coffee shop, which serves as the hub of town news. Deeply in love with Daniel, she still can't help but notice the gorgeous stranger, Micheal, who seemingly appears out of nowhere. When Dan begins to pull away from her, what's a girl to do? Tempted to sit home and cry, Monica is determined to push through the uncertainty. Does that mean exploring new options?
Daniel carries secrets he can't share with anyone, even Monica. He's a man with no past and no relatives, so he doesn't believe he deserves a bright future. Pulling away from Monica, his love and the closest thing he has to a family, he believes is the only way she can truly find happiness. But when tragedy strikes Abbeville will the man with no roots become its savior? Or will he discover Michael's true reason for appearing among them?
About the Author
Mia Epsilon lives with her ever patient and tolerant soul mate hubby in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, USA. She's an avid reader of almost anything but particularly romance, with too many favorite authors to name. Mia is a huge Doctor Who fan, and isn't so certain about the writing in the new series but absolutely adores the new Doctor and his Scottish accent. She also happily suffers a chocolate addiction which causes her to visit her favorite chocolate store, The Chocolate Fetish an abnormally high number of times.
Mia can most often be found at her computer spinning new tales or in a quiet padded nook (a nook, she swears, not a padded room) with her e reader happily engrossed in a new story. She's currently hard at work on her series 'Weddings by C & C' and trying to build its reputation from 'just another wedding story' to 'OMG you have GOT to read this book!' She appreciates all reader input and comments on her Face Book, Twitter, Amazon and Good Reads pages. Her released titles include: 'Wedding Belle Blues', 'Take a Chance on Me', 'When You Believe', and 'That Night' along with a short story in The Wonderland Tales 'Leave Your Hat On'.
Connect with Mia - Links
Blog: Authors, Books & Chocolate: The True ABC's of Life miaepsilon.blogspot.com
Face Book: MiaEwrites (Mia Epsilon Author)
Breathless Press home page: www.breathlesspress.com: Mia Epsilon
Good Reads: Mia Epsilon https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/14292463-mia-epsilon
All Romance ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html
Shelfari: http://www.shelfari.com (search Mia Epsilon)