No matter who you are, no matter your age, location, or worldview, everyone has a unique life experience that’s worth looking at for stories. It could be a childhood memory that brings you happiness, one that brings you sadness, or it could be something more recent that happened to you that has the potential to be the seed for your next story. Even if that story is a short one, looking through your past to find events that have potential to grow and expand into narratives is a useful tool when you have writer’s block, are looking for an interesting backstory for a character you’ve already created or are creating, or even as a creative writing exercise before you sit down to work on a project for the day.
No matter what the case may be, looking for stories from you own life experience can enhance your stories by giving it a uniqueness and a genuineness that only you can bring to it. After all, it happened to you, and only you know how you felt when the event took place. Use those thoughts, feelings, and emotions to create a dimensional story that has some weight to it when seen by a reader. It may just deliver the impact your story needs.
When developing my novel, The Field, I used my own life experience of being abducted to construct Daniel’s narrative. Then I used my own thoughts, feelings, and emotions from that traumatic event to enhance drama of the story. In doing so, I wanted to bring the reader into that space and truly experience what I did through the character of Daniel, but from the safety of reader’s bedroom, living room, or backyard.
Your unique life experiences can be a powerful tool when it comes to creating strong narratives and strong, dimensional characters. Never be afraid to use the resource that’s always with you. You!