Nearly every experience you have is fodder for fiction. Literally, everything. The conversations you overhear waiting to check out at the grocery store, the argument you had with your ISP when they over-billed you a few months back, the frustration of trying to get back into working out, and even the diarrhea you had last week that was so intense, so unbelievably forceful, you were sure you were expelling important, even vital things along with digested food.

Every victory. Every embarrassment. Every pain, pleasure, high and low. All of it. It’s all source material, so keep your eyes open.

Sure, you might have to change the details of some things. Some things are just too sensitive, even to sacred, to plop in the middle of your fiction without disguising them pretty well. But it’s not the big details that matter. It’s the little ones. Seriously, the next time you’re checking out at the grocery store, really listen to the conversations happening around you. That’s what your dialogue should sound like. Lived in, like that. Truly spontaneous.

Observe it, and then use it. Not word for word, of course, but use the nature of it. Learn from it. And do the same thing with your own experiences.

Always pay attention. There are opportunities to sharping your writing chops around every corner if you can only see them.


About Ash Martin
Ash Martin writes dark fantasy and horror, has a thing for classic monster legends, Nordic mythology, coffee, and sarcasm, and is currently working on multiple books.

3 Responses to observation

  1. Definitely. I love when the nickel drops and I realize I’ve just heard something I’m inspired to knead into a doughy piece. It’s what makes not being a hermit worthwhile. Heh, heh.

    You definitely have to be open to it though…accept that life is material…and not to bring back last week’s memories for you, but you have to…use it or lose it….shit or get off the pot…embrace the verbal diarrhea…. ;-P


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