Should we write from our own experiences? - by author Cindy Vine
Having been a teacher for over 30 years, I have encountered many incidents of bullying. The sad fact is that many of the children facing bullying don't believe they have a voice. They think they have to just suck it up or they deserve to be bullied. Unfortunately, in my time in education, I have seen many instances where cases of bullying has been reported to senior management and they have done nothing about it, or just written it off as kids being kids.
Sometimes the bullying gets out of hand and someone ends up getting hurt physically. Then of cause there are the emotional and psychological scars caused by bullying. Some of those you never recover from. My belief is that someone who feels they don't have a voice but do have access to a weapon could be a lethal combination. As you can see, the issue of bullying is something close to my heart. I have been bullied and abused and it is definitely something i have experience in.
Writing from what you know means that you can make the story and plot more realistic. You can hook in readers who can identify with your subject matter. You can also raise awareness of different social issues. You can give those who don’t have a voice a platform on which to speak. All my books have stories in them which either happened to me or people I know. Some might seem unbelievable, but the older you get the more you realise that people sometimes do unbelievable things to other people.
Even if the genre you write in is fantasy or sci-fi, you can still use your own experiences as material for your plot. The trick is to take that experience, maybe embroider on it a bit, weave in another similar experience and end up with something new. I find I’ve become a professional people watcher and listener. You never know what you might see and hear that can be adapted or incorporated in an experience you’ve had for another book.
Cindy Vine is a South African currently living in Norway. She is the author of Not Telling, The Case of Billy B, Defective, CU@8, Hush Baby and The Freedom Club. All her books are available on Amazon.com in both ebook and paperback format. You can find out more about Cindy and her other books on www.cindyvine.com. Should you wish to find out about some of the many countries she's visited, you can visit her travel blog www.cindyvinetravels.com.
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