Imagined stories can be as real as writers make them. In our writer’s group, the following stories are being developed:
A mystery thriller set in Chicago,
A Mill Pond romance,
Set in the Regency period, a scoundrel and a lady meet and intrigue follows,
A fantasy for young adult readers involving doors and underground tunnels,
The memoir of a woman once addicted to drugs and her rehabilitation,
Two young boys find a burned-out warehouse and adventure follows,
A runner’s account of his full course 100 mile Barkley Marathon ((Tennessee)).,
Humorous tales and adventures of a likable detective in a small town,
A woman who travels to Ireland and ends up running a bed-and-breakfast,
An architect intern who sets a plan in motion to marry the boss’s son,
The angst of a teenager who deals with an unwanted pregnancy.
And there are other stories. Members come and go. Those of us who attend on a regular basis follow the plots, get to know the characters, and then feel abandoned when the writer’s interest in his or her work wanes. We encourage them to carry on.
But writing is a lonely activity. It takes discipline, time, and effort to think up a good story, and as a friend of mine used to say, life isn’t art, but art imitates life. So, real life situations do get woven into our imagined stories. It’s inevitable. Writers constantly catch themselves thinking about how to weave a plot, and it is true that real life generally is stranger than fiction.
It’s summer, and a writer longs to be outside rather than sitting at a desk. Nevertheless the barbecues we enjoy, the farmer’s markets we roam, and the outdoor concerts, festivals, and reunions we attend offer rich tidbits for a writer. We grieve over tragedies and rejoice as graduation and wedding marches begin. Life happens, and the writer’s task, and challenge, is to sort out reactions to those situations whether lame or not.