Doesn’t the best writing come from the heart; something experienced in real life? The writing that speaks directly to the reader and gets them involved in the event and the circumstances taking place?

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Popularization of true events

This is the reason why memoirs are so popular and why movies based on a true story are appealing to wider audiences. The fact that those books and movies attract everyone is because the reader and spectator get more involved by being informed at the very beginning that what they are about to read/see is not false, someone’s fantasy or made up.

It’s not that well written Science Fiction stories aren’t properly received, but that real life stories connect to the audience on an emotional level, bringing a better understanding to the presented issue.

Write what you know

After all, the highly shared advice, ‘Write what you know,’ has a firm standing for a good reason.

If this is so, what happens with all those writers who feel they don’t have a significant real life story to tell, assured their lives are boring and not worthy enough to show?

One recommendation for them is to write well regardless of the topic/situation/issue they’re presenting. What if there’s another way—how about Autofiction?

Autofiction is a term used in literary criticism to refer to a form of fictionalized autobiography. That’s the strict meaning of the word. It can also refer to fictionalizing a real event of the writer’s life.

Imagine writing about your life, making great use of the knowledge you have in the situation, yet adding details that completely transform the story into something else.

What you get as a result is a story that captures the readers emotionally, while you can escape revealing your privacy with the fictional elements that alter the personal writing.

Imagine matching your best friend’s personality with the qualities of another friend, or the protagonist being you while you live the life of your neighbour, into whom you have a deep insight. The combinations and opportunities are endless and worthy of exploration.

A writer’s imagination coupled with good life experience and knowledge of the craft are a winning blend for a great story.

Do you use fictionalized personal events in your writing? Do those stories have a greater appeal to readers?


For fifteen minutes, write about a real life event or character, adding fictional elements to it, thus presenting it in a completely new light and post your practice in the comments. Choose something with an emotional appeal to you, which will show in the writing itself. Don’t forget to check out other practices and support your fellows.

Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris, a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. Follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).

Want best-seller coaching? Book Joe here.

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