The following question has been posed as current week’s Indispire prompt : “Must story writers pick up incidents from their own life or create everything in their imagination? Where do good stories really begin?”
When a writer decides to pen a story, he has to create a plot and develop characters supporting the plot. Can there be any hard and fast rule how the author arrives at his plot and how he creates his characters? I think a plot of a story can be based on personal experience in life experience of the author, plot can be based on authors’s observation of society around him, or a plot can be purely based on imagination of the author. Many a time, an author spices up real life event with his imagination in creating his characters.
An author may draw inspiration from his own life. Definitely, such a story becomes more authentic if written well. Any professional, a sports person, a soldier, a doctor or any other professional for that matter can a pen a story as a memoir or a fiction. Many a time, writers of crime thrillers try to understand criminal behavior by simulating certain lifestyle. Yes, this may make the book more realistic and honest.
A typical example how an author’s personal experience may help him create a character based on his own experience comes from John Grisham. John Grisham wrote many novels based on court room battles in courts of southern part of the United States of America. John Grisham’s studied law, practiced in lower court and served as a law maker in the state of Missisipi. Certainly his experience and exposure helped John Grisham recreate court room litigation scenes, how defence attorney as well as public prosecutor acts, behaves and how their egos play around. Using his experience a lawyer in a court room, John Grisham has created many novels.
Several other novels John Grisham penned are products of serious research. For example, novel “The Pellican Brief” deals with pollution of gulf of Mexico due to oil drilling and Pellican habitat was getting destroyed. In this novel an array of characters including a billionaire, a big law firm, US President’s office, an investigative journalist and a junior lawyer all make their appearance. No way Mr. Grisham can draw this plot based on his own experience. He facts must have come through solid research.
In summary, the a story may be based on personal experience or based on an active research and imagination. There may be a mix of personal experience along with active research and imagination. There is no hard and fast rule as to how should the plot and characters be arrived at.
The present article was written in response to Indispire prompt at Indiblogger. More articles based on the prompt may be found here.