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JohnConstantine 02-21-2018 08:31 AM

Book worthy lives
You ever come across that person who says something like 'my life is crazy... I should write a book!'

I usually think, no, your life is perfectly mundane -- your problems aren't that special and there's probably only a small minority of lives which would be interesting enough without any need for exaggeration or artistic editing to write about.

Or can any experience be interesting, however regular, if written well?

Myers 02-21-2018 10:02 AM

They can certainly be about the extraordinary -- but short stories are probably the best way to take the mundane and make a compelling story -- just based on examining how people think and behave etc. I'm sure most of us have experienced something that is worth writing about or that could at least provide inspiration.

Just today at the post office I saw a really messed up confrontation between a lady and a postal worker -- everyone in line was pretty amazed and disgusted. You could probably write a story about that.

So in that respect -- yeah I think just about any experience could make a good story if written well. A life story -- it's going to have to be something more.

Although one of my favorite novels is "Revolutionary Road" which is essentially about a suburban couple with bohemian asperations and how things go haywire because the guy gets promoted and gets a little power and money and decides he doesn't want to move to Paris and be a writer etc., and his wife resents it and starts to hate her life. It comes to a head -- but that's pretty much it...

Beesauce 03-01-2018 06:49 PM

I actually don't come across too many people who say that.. I'm usually telling them that they should write a book, but some people's lives are so fascinating that writing the book would get in the way of them doing whatever it is that's worth writing about -- some peoples priorities aren't straight tho, so, as usual, goes both ways.

brianpatrick 03-02-2018 03:20 AM

I run across a lot of people who “say” they or their lives are crazy, but they’re usually not. Very few people where I live (and would come across) would think of writing anything. (The Bible is already written, who needs more).

Peoples emotions and rationalizations or justifications are interesting. If a writer can capture what it feels like in a particular moment, and do that well, almost anything can be interesting.

The obvious example would be ordinary sexual experiences with your established partner. If you can capture that initial tension, building energy, thoughts race, point in a direction, overcome obstacles (baby crying, kids on their way home from school), the thrill of naked bodies, ecstasy, more tension building, and release. This is a sort of overused medium and has become like a cheap thrill in say romance novels, but done well it’s really powerful. And most people have this experience.

There are tons of experiences in most people’s lives, at their levels that are powerful and important to them. The job of a writer, the art, is to make the reader see it from the characters perspective.

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