Inserting Slices of Real Life in Fiction

Writers do this. I know I do. We slip in little bits of real, everyday life into our works of fiction. Just a sliver really. Here’s one example: there’s a scene where heroine/amateur sleuth/newly minted entertainment attorney, Corrie Locke, is touring a bigger, better office space with a movie studio boss…and possible murder suspect. Corrie accompanies the handsome, sometimes oddly mysterious executive vice president to inspect the new building. They are alone in the uninhabited office, which makes her feel a wee bit nervous. Especially because her gun is in her car. Here’s the scene snippet as it occurs in the book:

He leaned down toward my head, practically burying his nose in my hair.
“Do you mind?” I squirmed.
“You smell good.”
“So does hot chocolate, but you don’t nosedive into that, do you?”
“I might, I love hot chocolate.”

I crafted this scene after a brief encounter I had in my local grocery store while I waited in line to make my purchase. My back was to those waiting behind me. I was closing in on the cashier when I heard loud, shallow breaths in even tempo, close to my ear. Then I felt a slight jab, a vague push. I turned my head around. Behind me stood a man, so close that if I leaned forward just a bit, we’d bump noses. His chin was practically buried in my hair.

I think it’s fair to state that most of us do not like people, outside of those personally invited, to enter a diameter of say, two feet, within our physical presence. Even one foot is acceptable when standing in line. I move forward when I get crowded from behind. Quite often, so does the person behind me, even if there’s no need to do so. Most grocery stores have ample space. I’ve learned to carry a large handbag and place it between me and any personal zone violators. This helps maintain a respectable distance.

This tiny encounter impacted me enough for me to recall it years later and insert it into my novel. Mostly because I chuckled about it…afterward. It’s easy to laugh off slightly annoying brief encounters, and insert them into a work of fiction to share with others, who can laugh along with you.

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4 Comments on "Inserting Slices of Real Life in Fiction"

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Ilona Fridl
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I know I do that all the time. I insert things that happened to me or my friends. It makes the story all the more real.

Sandra Dailey
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All of my book contain a little humor. That’s because I am an awkward, accident prone geek in real life and I’m not afraid to hide it.