Using your childhood as fictional fodder.


Are there skeletons in your juvenile closet that you would rather keep buried or would you include as a part of a fictional story?  Are you comfortable enough with your past that you feel using these experiences in a helpful way? 

Some writers are cool and comfortable enough to use something traumatic from their pasts in a fictional format in order to help readers or just get it out there. You can change the names of the innocent or even the guilty to disguise that this was a real person. You as a writer need to be in a good spot emotionally to make it work so as it doesn’t cause you trauma as an adult.

I have tried to write a fictional account of the suicides of two friends from my twenties.  I want to tell the story of Fred and his brother Jim in order to state the importance of talking about mental health issues.

That’s just one example but I want I want to be sure I can do it without feeling traumatized. 29 years after the fact this event still gets to me.

Another area of my youth I would talk about as a part of a story is the aspect of being bullied by my peers  and thus causing a raging anxiety disorder that still plagues me.  I am in a much better place to take this on than the suicide story.

I have no clue as to when I will get either of these plots but I think they will be helpful to someone.

On the other hand you may have family trips or just little things that you did as a kid to use in a story that might be funny or enjoyable.

For example I grew up in Northern Ontario for the first six years of my life before the great exodus to the Greater Toronto area. I have some great memories of Winter carnivals and my first crush on a swimming instructor even when I was six. I spent loads of time in the bowling alley harassing the pinsetter while my sister and brother bowled and my parents curled. Our school gymnasium was the movie theatre and we saw a lot of good movies that were borrowed from the cinemas in town.  I might just write that as a part of an autobiography one day.

It’s all up to the particular writer what aspects of real life they want to share with readers. Make the read a cautionary tale of kids don’t try this at home or things they did as a kid written into the characters story.



About karenwritesmurder

I am a writer, blogger and radio host. I love to read and my love of books has lead me down this path. People tell me I write like Janet Evanovich. I take that as a compliment as I love her Plum books. I feel like Stephanie and Laura could be best friends.
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