Lindsey R. Loucks

Author of Romance and Other Scary Things

Borrowing From Real Life

A drama-free life is a happy life, so that’s what I strive for. I leave the jaw-dropping plots to my characters. But I do occasionally throw in some tiny details from my life into my stories. For example, spiders. I hate them. They skitter sideways on creepy, hairy legs and are too unpredictable. I will screech and run away whenever I see one. Yet they’re in my current story. Lots of them. Why? Because I’m trying to face my fears. And because two dead spiders, a mama and a baby, are stuck to my garage wall, and have been since I moved in since I refuse to do anything about them. Moms and babies play a large part in my story, so I thought, “Why not spiders?” While writing the spidery scenes, I freaked myself out. So much for facing my fears.

Another thing I threw into the story from real life were lyrics to an awesome song I like to play on the game Rock Band. It’s The Fratellis’s “Creepin’ Up the Backstairs.” Here’s the song:

One line from the lyrics is “Take your brother’s car keys.” That’s why Jo is always taking her brother’s car keys. It fits her personality too.

So how about you? Do you search for drama in real life or strive for drama-free living? What are some things you take from real life to put in your stories?


  1. HA! Love the bit about the spiders. It even makes a bit more sense now.

    I have heard that it is a chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times.” I look for as little drama as possible. I have been out of high school waaaay to long for that. My teenagers spill over enough to keep my life too “interesting”.

    My story world is a fantasy setting, so I can’t bring much into that from the real world. I do take some things, phrases, gestures, etc. from real conversations and interactions and plug them in where I can though.

  2. Interesting topic. I do always dive into real life for inspiration. I use my personal speech pattern for my characters, pronunciation of certain words, behavior of the people around me… Oh, yes, and regarding fears – I’m afraid of wolves. I think they look evil.
    So I made one of my characters deathly terrified of wolves. And then threw in a little wolf chase for the drama 😉
    I’ve used fear of heights too – even if I don’t personally have that. But someone read the scene and asked me if I was afraid of heights. Lol.

    Real life is full of great ideas!
    Fun song! 🙂

  3. YES! I am constantly getting ideas. My husband sees my eyes get glazed over, then that smile creep over my face, and he knows I’ve thought up a new plot. It’s like those moments in House when all the pieces fit and he discovers the diagnosis and you can practically see the light bulb lighting up. 🙂

    When we went to a nice restaurant for our Valentine’s/dating anniversary, I got an idea for another short that I just finished this week for my writing class.

  4. Stephanie, have you read the children’s book, “The Wolves of Willoughby Chase”? Great book–lots of physical and metaphorical wolves too.

  5. Wow, Mysti! Another short? You’re a machine!

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