Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bucket List

Do you ever find yourself living in buckets? I do sometimes. Without realizing it, I'll have my writing bucket, my family bucket, my work bucket, my music bucket, even my religion bucket. Everything in it's nice, clean place.

The problem? Life isn't neat and clean. It's messy. Moreover, it should be messy. I'm a writer, and this blog is directed towards writers. However, that doesn't mean that I should write from inside a bucket. Despite from wondering where in the world you'd find a bucket large enough to fit me inside it along with my laptop, and despite the confusing motivations that would cause me to climb inside and start writing in the first place, the thing is that a bucket isn't a location that breeds good material. You can't see the outside world from there, and you need to see the outside world to write.

You see, I'm married with a little girl whom I adore, plus another one on the way. I don't talk about them often, though. Not on the blog. That's my family bucket. This is my writer bucket. S. Kyle Davis and Kyle Davis aren't the same person. S. Kyle Davis is my writer persona. Not me.

The thing is... he really is me. Why pretend otherwise?

If I include my family within my writer world, my books are going to be better. Why? Because all sorts of crazy, sad, hilarious, and amazing things happen with my family. What a wonderful place to find inspiration for material! My girl, whom we call Monkey, has developed this cute habit of singing "Ada" over and over. We sing together, and she tries to trick me. She'll hold it out really long, like "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAda!" and then giggle. Other times she pretends to start singing, and then doesn't, and laughs that she tricked me. She's so funny.

Wouldn't that be a great thing to include in a novel? One of my MCs, Taylor, has a foster brother that's 4. You could modify that for age, and it would be cute, a nice character development moment to see the MC interacting with the little boy that isn't in any way related to her.

I don't mean exploit your family for the sake of your novel. I mean that who you are and what's important to you should flow into your writing. Is family important to you? Be sure you include a family in your story. Look at Twilight. Meyer is a mother with a family that is really important to her. That comes across in the way Bella interacts with her dad and the Cullens interact. There is family all over the place, and it is one of the things that she does really well in the novel. It gives it heart.

The same is true for everything else. Is what you do important to you? If so, use the knowledge and love you have for that in your story. I work for an AV manufacturing company, and my love for technology really comes across in both my novels. Also, I'm a Christian, and proud of it. I don't write "Christian novels,"but that doesn't mean my faith can't affect my writing. If I really believe it, then shouldn't it affect my writing?

My point is this: If it's important to you, then use it in your story. Your writing and your life will be better for it.
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