Using You Authentic Experience to Power Your Fiction

Since you all know that my secret identity during the day is a librarian, (or is my pen name my secret identity?), I guess I can inform you about a book club I had last night for the book titled “The Absolutely True Diary of Part Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie.

Alexie’s book is very thought-provoking and realistic interpretation of his own experiences of growing up on as Native American on a reservation.  He explores and discusses topics of alcoholism on the reservation as well poverty.  While Alexie deems this book as “semi-autobiographical”, he also explains that he basically is the main character, Arnold.

A nice Native American man came to the book club to share how he had gone to listen to Alexie speak three times, and he got the opportunity to meet him.  Alexie’s raw, true voice is one that many have been able to relate to, and I think the majority and success of his works is strongly dependent on his true, real voice.  It’s an honest voice that cannot be denied.

Sometimes, I do feel scared writing from the perspective of a Native American girl in my current work “Girl-Who-Rises-Sun”.  I know that I am not Native American, and because of this, I don’t know how entirely proud I will ever feel about this work.  She was a fleeting character I knew that I had to get to know one day, but I also get the feeling that because of my lack of being a Native American, my story of Girl-Who-Rises-Sun will never be the work I am remembered for, and for this I accept, for I am not Native American, nor should I be remembered for a voice I do not understand.  I guess I have just lived in New Mexico for so long; I start to think I truly am part of the desert.

My own experiences with having two miscarriages and seeing a UFO recently are starting to help me discover another story I could create.  I think that this may be a story that truly will reflect my authentic voice, and may be one that people will deem as truly my work.

Ever since I started writing, I loved to write about UFOs.  It’s strange to me that I saw one.  The mental transformation that happens to someone after they see a UFO can be epic, traumatic, and uncomfortable.  Once I get the pieces together for my next story, or novel (who knows what it will be), I will share it with you all too.

What kinds of fictional stories have you wrote or thought about writing based from your own personal authentic experiences?


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