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Fiction from Life

One of the best places to look for short fiction material — believe it or not — is your life.

  • What events shaped you as a person? Write an exhaustive list of these events, such as: your earliest memory, your most embarrassing moment, your greatest achievement, your worst loss, your first love, the day you grew up, etc.

  • Explore these events on the page, writing down as many minute details as you can possibly remember: colors, smells, textures, feelings, etc.

  • When you are done, go back through everything you’ve written and find the story that needs to be told.

  • At this point, don’t worry about accuracy. Have fun! Feel free to tell tall tales, spin yarns, and exaggerate what really happened in service of writing a good story. The best writers know when to steal from their own lives and when to use their imaginations.



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