If you talk about writing with anyone, at some point you will hear the quote — “Write what you know.” — Mark Twain’s famous words. So does this mean if you are a truck driver you should only write about driving trucks.
No, I don’t believe Twain meant it literally. I will be sitting at home with my laptop waiting for an idea to pop into my consciousness. A scene from a day, a week or months ago will come to mind. A funny story about a friend can suddenly have an influence on how my character will act in a certain situation.
Our pasts and our futures can be the impetus for a story. I mentioned my canine muse in the blog, The Best of Intentions. My furry companion and his antics will more than likely show up in several of my future writings. In Exodus, the protagonist’s yellow lab is an amalgamation of my buddy and some of the dogs I’ve met over the years.
During my walks, I will suddenly have the solution for a plot line which wasn’t working. I can hear dialog between characters. When I get home I will grab my notebook and scribble the thoughts on the page hoping I didn’t forget anything. I have even been known to get up out of bed during the night to jot down a scene.
Obsessive? Probably, but it’s so much fun when the stories unfold. The real work happens after the ideas are written. Then it is up to the writer to mold those snippets of life’s inspirations into an entertaining story.