As they say, “Truth is stranger than fiction.” I’ve often wondered why I have been blessed or perhaps cursed with odd experiences. Add to that wonderment, the fact that I work in the world of anesthesia and my experiences become compounded. If I had to point to a reason for my unusual experiences, it must be to give me a wealth of material for my books.
Writing from Reality
Much of my writing material has happened in one form or another. I like to write about the underside and back rooms of the glossy and polished for public consumption side of medicine. It is frequently not pretty or nice, and many times, a rosy, neat ending doesn’t occur. But within those messy endings is a universe of themes and characters to be explored and excavated.
I’ve found the reluctant heroine, the ruthless antagonist, the helpful sidekick — all with their own stories of consequence. My own life adventures and misadventures find a way into my stories and help to create my characters. Naturally, I want to frame them in the context of current day topics and situations to which people can relate.
I get to create a world of my choosing filled with people in all of their flawed, messy glory. How do I keep all my characters and their quirks straight? I write about them extensively in documents that never see the light of day. These are my “character bibles” — detailed analyses of every quirk, tick, and habit. The process of writing and conducting research to help me flesh out my characters, create their backstories, and find their motivations is both fun and fascinating.
My quirky habit of traversing the internet rabbit hole in search of factoids, is finally coming in handy! People are far from monolithic and typical. Tropes and stereotypes are easy to write about, and, in my eyes, boring. I strive to present characters who remind me of real people, in all of their foibles, weaknesses, and strengths.
Taryn and Blake were fun and relatively easy to create and write about. Now, I’m on to the next challenge — my next protagonist. Who is… well, that’s a mystery writer for you.