Nancy's Books

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Fiction Inspired by Real-Life Characters and Events/Calls for Submissions

Real people and events inspire many fictional stories. The advantage of this type of writing is that those images produce authentic sensory details to bring the setting and characters to life. The disadvantage is that the writer may develop an emotional attachment to a person or event and experience difficulty letting go of reality in creating the fictional story. 

Allow the actual event or character to plant the seed of the story idea, but when you begin writing, give the characters opportunities to take on their own story and evolve. If that means a particular character plays a lesser role in the fictional tale, so be it. Let the story unfold and see what happens. Focus on the characters and not reflect on the real-life situations that inspired the story. You'll have more flexibility and freedom to take the story in different directions to determine the best route for the characters.

My book, Trouble in Troublesome Creek, is based on an actual story told to me by my husband  and told to him by his grandmother. Neither of them is mentioned in the book. Their stories simply inspired my story.

So when writing fiction inspired by a real-life, focus less on the actual events and more on the imaginary tale to develop a smooth, well-crafted story. 

 Next week, I’ll discuss rewriting the first draft.

   Call for submissions for adult writers:
HISTORY MAGAZINE. Chronicling everything from the fall of the Roman Empire and the start of the Second World War to the sinking of the Titanic and the exploits of Al Capone, the articles in History Magazine are accompanied by breathtaking archival images and detailed maps. You’ll read fascinating stories and discover facts you never knew about the development of government, medicine, technology, trade, crime, the arts, the art of war, and everything in between! Pays up to $250.
Submission guidelines at

Call for submissions for young writers:

New Moon: The Magazine for Girls and Their Dreams
34 E. Superior St. #200
Duluth, MN 55803
Send to: Julie Hoffer
75% is written by girls aged 8-14. Uses fiction, nonfiction, poetry, book reviews, articles about historical women and girls, letters. Uses only work by girls except letters.

Submission guidelines at

Check out more contests on my blog:

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