I’ve blogged before on my thoughts about divorcing your fiction from your reality. It’s tempting, especially when you’re starting out, to try and novelize the events of your own life. Sadly, few of us have the kinds of experiences that are Hallmark-movie-worthy, and sticking too closely to the truth can make for thoroughly uninspiring fiction.
That said, if you have no experience with the things you’re writing, your prose is in danger of sounding distant or flat.
Where’s a girl to find her balance?
Personally, I like to sprinkle real-life situations into wholly fabricated plots.
For example, in my new book, (which releases today!) When It’s Right, I made up the characters. I made up the general plot arc of two best friends deciding to go on a road trip together to Times Square for New Year’s Eve and discovering that their friendship could be so much more.
I lived the car accident that derails them. I lived falling in love with my best friend, and the moment when I first realized that maybe friendship wasn’t all we were destined for. I’ve been to the places I wrote about—rode the subways and dealt with the parking.
A made-up plot, with (what I hope is) a satisfying narrative arc. Real details that hopefully infuse the story with richness that helps it jump off the page.
How do you balance your fiction and your reality in your stories?
Still licking his wounds after a messy breakup, Nate is at loose ends for New Year’s Eve and itching for a wild and crazy adventure to jolt him out of his rut. Now if he could only convince his best friend, Cassie, to break away for an impromptu road trip to Times Square.
Fun as it sounds, Cassie is reluctant to accept Nate’s invitation. Little does he know, she’s made resolutions of her own—resolutions about finally getting over her long-standing crush on him. Telling herself this trip will be the perfect “last hurrah”, she packs her bag.
The trip is a fiasco from the outset. A car that won’t start, a freak storm that strands them on the side of the road, and a long drive with too much time for true confessions. Cassie’s rocks Nate to the core, leaving him wondering if the best thing that ever happened to him has been right in front of him all along.
Warning: Contains two best friends, a secret crush, and a road trip that leads to tow trucks, unexpected hotel-room sharing, epiphanies, sex, and more.