Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Discussion: Writers and Life Experience

While I was bathing my son last night, I thought about the saying that authors need a certain amount of life experience to have something worth writing about. Do you agree or disagree? I think some insight into human nature is necessary to create realistic, compelling characters. What kinds of life experiences make for good fiction? The ones that came to mind for me were travel to different countries and relationships, particularly friendships and romances. (You don't see too many novels about co-workers, at least co-workers in an office setting. Relationship between co-workers who spend a lot of time together, like a partnership between police officers, might deepen into friendship.) Of course, the major life events, like marriage, parenthood, and death, also provide lots of fiction fodder. They certainly beat mowing the lawn! Can you add anything else? I'm going to be extremely busy today at work, so I probably won't be able to comment much during the day. Perhaps I'll do a follow-up post in the evening.


Elizabeth Mueller said...

Hi, Sandra! I feel that writers should have some kinda of experience somewhere to make it sound believable and even real. Readers are smart and catch on.

If you're passionate enough, I have NOOO doubt you can write about life on the moon, tho you've never been there.

Wonderful post! :)

Ann said...

You need to instill your life experiences into your writing otherwise it falls flat.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I think there's something to be said for experience, but more for imagination and listening to others' stories. I can't ever experience what it's like to be a man, for instance, but I can imagine and I can listen.

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