Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Your compost pile

When you're writing a story or a book, where is the best place to draw from? You got it. Your compost pile. What is my compost pile, you ask? That's easy. It's basically all of your good and bad experiences throughout your life.

They're just sitting there, fermenting, ripening. How is it that the masters can write like they do when we know darn well they've never gone through what they're writing about? Compost. They draw from it.

It's every naughty thought, every tear, every guilty feeling, every bit of anger you've ever felt. We, as readers can relate because we've all had naughty thoughts, angry feelings, and cried our hearts out. You use that, turn it inside out, stretch it, re-arrange it to fit your story.

This is what makes a good book. It's a sad thing, but people want to read about heartache, despair, fear and the mystical. We like being taken to the edge and almost pushed over. We want the romance, the broken heart and winning in the end. We don't want to read about real life. We want to read drama. We crave it.

Thank heavens there are people like us who love to dish it out. There's nothing more fun than writing a great battle or murder scene. On the flip side, there's also nothing better than writing a love scene that rips your heart out and makes you yearn to be young again. Yea, for every writer out there who slaves over the keyboard, frequently late into the night, so everyone can have their drama fix!

I love it! I love having to dig deep, having to pour through my thesaurus, having to stretch my imagination. And what I love most is seeing the finished product, knowing you're going to buy it and love it!

This brings me joy, makes me happy, fulfills me. It . . . completes me. (couldn't help but add that. I do love drama after all.)


Tamara Hart Heiner said...

lol. I had a reader express concern for me b/c they thought I might have actually gone through the horrible things that happen to my characters. :)

David J. West said...

Great post, that's what I do I just never thought of calling it a compost pile before.

Caledonia Lass said...

Sometimes, I hate writing the drama. Especially the romantic (or squishy stuff as I call it) even if I do have a knack for it. I'm a Sword Drawn Battle kind of girl, after all.
Great post!

Aubrie said...

Excellent post! I try to infuse each of my characters with a part of myself. That's the only way they come alive.

M. Gray said...

I'm with everyone else. I love this post!!! Anything that makes real life HORRIBLE makes for a GREAT story. I remember Sol Stein saying any pain we can create in fiction, the reader finds "delicious."

L.T. Elliot said...

What a brilliant way to see life experiences. I loved that you said we ferment and ripen. It's so true!

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