Have you ever had one of those encounters in which someone says something and you are rendered speechless? After the dust settles and you’ve parted ways, you come up with at least half a dozen appropriate (or not so appropriate) responses.

Hindsight is 20/20, they say. But in writing, we all have a chance to relive conversations, confrontations, interactions, and situations—and change the outcome. Through the magic of fiction, we have the opportunity to do what we wish we had done.


Photo by mpclemens

Time for a Do-Over

Adding a new twist to a real-life experience doesn’t mean creating a perfect happily-ever-after fairy tale tied up in a pretty bow. We become who we are through being tested, so our characters should deal with hardship too. Stories—good stories—still require growth and change and conflict.

Sure, as a writer, you have the power to pen a happy ending, but an unexpected yet satisfying conclusion will pleasantly surprise readers, rather than leave them disappointed by a predictable outcome. Or perhaps your rewritten version of the truth won’t even end on a cheerful note, just a different one.

How would you rewrite an experience you’ve had?


Think of an event or encounter from your life—a time you thought could have played out differently. Write about it for fifteen minutes, fictionalizing it however you wish.

When you’re finished, please share your practice in the comments section. And if you post, please respond to some of the other comments too!

Melissa Tydell is a freelance writer, content consultant, and blogger who enjoys sharing her love of the written word with others. You can connect with Melissa through her website, blog, or Twitter.

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