Applying Real Life Experiences to Your Fiction Writing

I love the holidays, even the craziness that surrounds me. Admittedly, I don’t buy as many presents as I once did because the kids in the family are now grown up. There are grandnieces now to spoil. Still, Christmas just isn’t the same without little ones around to see the wonder of it all on their faces.

But there are holiday get-togethers with family, friends, and co-workers. These can be enjoyable times or teeth-grinding times. Is Aunt Ruth going to play matchmaker again with the single members of the family? Will Ted sneak a bit more liquor into the already spiked punch? What do you buy for the “white elephant” exchange at the office this year?

Along with that thought, gift buying problems have changed over the years from what new toy to buy a child who already has far too many toys. Now the problem is more of what kind of gift card do the teenagers want? Or what do you buy for your adult siblings or parents who already have everything they want or need? Again, which gift card will they actually use?

Even more of a problem can be getting something special for your mate. They probably already buy whatever they want or need throughout the year. Or they like books, but you don’t know which ones they haven’t read or which ones they would want. Or they have a hobby or play a sport, but you aren’t sure what they need for it or what they don’t already have. The list goes on and on.

If I wasn’t so determined to enjoy the holidays, I’d be very frustrated as I face these mounting problems of what to buy for people I care about. Personally, I hate giving gift cards because they seem so impersonal, but sometimes I give them anyway out of pure desperation.

I also love to find a really unique present, something people would never think about getting for themselves. My daughter and husband have come to expect receiving these “Oh really?” gifts. They take it in stride and eventually the gifts get hidden away or donated. But they understood I meant well, and I had fun with finding that special gift and with seeing their initial expression at unwrapping it.

As a writer, I draw on my life experiences and try to incorporate versions of them in my stories. In Holly’s Big Bad Santa, I hint at the frustrations of hanging Christmas lights and mention some of the familiar plastic lawn ornamentation we often see in yards.

In “Snowed in with Her Cowboy” from my Cowboys in Charge anthology, the couple was having marital problems at Christmas time. The wife has lost her usual holiday spirit and the husband is desperate to help bring it back. He puts up a tree and digs out their decorations, hoping he assembled everything just right, wanting to please the woman he loves.

Another example of how I drew on familiar holiday experiences was in “Too Much Red at Christmas” also from Cowboys in Charge. The wife is basically addicted to shopping and can’t seem to stop buying gifts.

My purpose behind this post was to remind you, as a writer, that there are things that happen in your life and around you every day that can be used in your stories. As a reader, hopefully you can identify with some of what I’ve mentioned and remember reading stories where real life experiences have been incorporated.

Cowboys in Charge

Publisher: Black Velvet Seductions

Genre: Contemporary holiday erotic romance anthology

Buy Link: Amazon

Buy Link: Barnes & Noble

 

Holly’s Big Bad Santa

Publisher: Black Velvet Seductions

Genre: Contemporary holiday erotic romance

Buy Link: Amazon

Buy Link: Barnes & Noble

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