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This is the blog of children's book author and third grade teacher, Stacy Barnett Mozer. I blog about my own writing journey, the journey of other kidlit authors, my classroom, and talk about books. Thanks for stopping by. Your thoughts are always welcome (and encouraged).

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Finding the Story Inside Your Own Story

When I was eight my parents took my sister and me on a camping trip from Long Island to Wyoming and back. That camping trip has lived vividly in my memory for all this time, so it is no wonder that when I started writing, I wanted to revisit that trip.  I wrote a lovely story about two sisters who go on a camping trip and have a good time.

Unfortunately, what was a great memory for me was not a page turner for others. Real people don't always have problems and solutions. A camping trip is just a vacation. To tell that story in a way others would want to read was, and still is, a challenge. 

Now I am starting again, with only a setting. While I may pull from memory, what happens this time will be my characters' stories, not mine. They will have to face obstacles, challenges, and overcome flaws that my sister and I didn't experience. While I know their location, I am going to leave it to the characters to see where this journey takes them. 

Have you ever used your own story in your story? How did it work for you?  

3 comments:

  1. I do it all the time!!! I seem to have to start with nuggets of my own truth and then I let them loose. Have fun with it!

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  2. I've created characters that look like people I know but have different personalities and put character traits of myself and my friends and family into my characters. And once I used a whole scene about a weird experience I had with a bird... And I also gave my best friend's house to one of my characters!

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  3. Right on. Some of the best advice I got from a great writer friend of mine was something along the lines of, "You know what really happened, and who cares? Let that go and create the story."

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