When Art Imitates Life

I’ve spent the last few days reviewing the stories I plan to use in my collection. I took down the works as posted and am in the process of reworking them to fit the new narrative. While I have a long way to go, I can see a possible direction this compilation could take.

I’ve mentioned before that my original idea bloomed as fan fiction, and I thought to use the assorted works already published. As I read the writing groups on social media, I decided to create my own worlds instead, using the published worlds as inspiration for new locales. I use video game experiences for the thoughts that might go through the mind of a character. In fact, video games account for a significant portion of the inner dialog of an individual.

Blending real-life experiences into the mix can help bring a scene to life. I’ve never climbed a rock face, but I have climbed trees. In my youth and younger adulthood, I loved to climb. Need a hummingbird feeder or windsock hung on a branch? No problem, up I’d go and hang like a monkey as a friend handed the line up to me. My heartbeat just accelerated, and my hands and feet are getting all sweaty and tingly as I write about it.

That is the kind of visceral feeling we can extrapolate from personal experience as we write about an activity in which we have never participated. While climbing a rock face is a different skill than climbing a tree, many elements are the same. If I want to know what specific other skills it takes to climb a rock face, I can go to one of the local gyms and ask an instructor for a lesson. (OK, I might have to wait until the world calms down a bit, but you know what I mean.)

If I extrapolate further, I can isolate those visceral feelings and transfer them into an entirely different experience. Of which I might never in my life gain first-hand knowledge. Facing a tarrasque or a minotaur is one of those things that will probably never happen in our reality. I have encountered a protective bull on a dirt road before, though. While on a motorcycle. A motorcycle not built to traverse dirt roads I might add. I’ve ridden through Yellowstone National Park and gotten stopped in traffic while tourists in cars honked at annoyed buffalo crossing the road. So, yeah, I can imagine the adrenaline that might be coursing through the veins of someone facing such a mythical creature.

I could keep going, but you get the idea.

This is where I “write what I know” and take it to a new level.

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