Writing Fiction: Find the Story Inside Yourself

I have always believed that everyone has at least one good story inside of them.

It seems odd to think this way, but I really do believe that it is the truth.

We are, after all, a culmination of all of the experiences that we have had throughout our life. We, in this moment of time, look through life and all of the decisions that we make through a filter of sorts, a filter made up of everything that we have ever gone through.

Everything, from your first memories forward, have their place in your head and are a part of the mask you wear.

With that in mind, how does that bring me to the thought that everyone has a good story in them?

Bear with me, my friend.  Let me start a little sideways from that subject.

As writers, especially fiction writers, we always seem to have stories running through our heads.  We get struck with them out of the blue so often that it seems, for me, at least, that we throw away 20 good ones in a day without even realizing it.

If you have read my previous article about coming up with plots really quickly (and if you haven’t, you can find it over here), you know the power of “What If…”

This technique, when you practice it, starts to become a natural part of yourself; so much so, in fact, that you might find yourself doing it unconsciously everywhere you go.

What you can do with the background you have, no matter what it may be, is ask yourself, “What if…”


“What if that day at the beach I had asked that girl to go for a swim?”

“What if, that day back in high school, I told my teacher where to stick it when they yelled at me in class?”

It’s been said many times, “Write what you know.”  What better way to take that advice than to make use of all the experiences you have had in your lifetime to your advantage?

Use the times that you have felt that you have failed to your advantage, and integrate it into a full-blown story! OWN what life has thrown your way!

If you do not think an entire story could come from an experience, what about making use of it as a sub-plot for the characters you are writing about?

Either way, allow the experiences that have made you YOU work for you, and bring them not only to life on the paper, but out of your system, as well.

I can tell you from personal experience, it’s quite a cathartic thing to do!

Think about what you have been through, and use it to foster a story.  You might be surprised at the results!


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  1. Excellent Ira, Thanks. I enjoy my Writer’s group the very reasons you stated. Not much writing gets done but it’s about the collective that is important.

    Cool man and good job, oh and I want a signed copy 🙂

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