Wednesday, March 24, 2010
History--yours, mine, or someone else's
I like to write historical info on this blog because it is titled Seduced by History, but I have just about exhausted my research info for the books I've written lately and don't have the time to look up something new. I'm in the middle of polishing up three projects and not quite ready to start on something new, so I haven't been researching history lately.
I attended a local writer’s group a few months ago. The title of the talk given by a member was “If not, who will”. It was of course about writing family stories or history. And that had me thinking about all the genres-not just memoir writing.
We writers put a little bit of our history in everything we write. It doesn’t matter what you write–romance, sci-fi, westerns, or YA. In each project somewhere, is a scene, a scenario, a phrase that happened to you, a family member, or a friend. Something that is a part of your history.
Granted my dad wasn’t born in the 1800’s, but as a child he lived in a rural area where some things hadn’t moved ahead into the 20th century. His stories on more than one occasion have given fodder for a story or a scene in one of my books. Same with my in-laws who immigrated to the United States in the 1950’s.
At a family reunion on my mom’s side of the family, there were stories told no one would believe except in fiction! Of course names are changed to protect the instigators!
Even things my children have done end up in a story. Our lives are our history. Incorporating the good times and the bad of our lives into our characters brings them to life for the reader.
Do you use people you know or have known, personal situations, or phrases you’ve heard in your books or stories? If not, why?