Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Include Life Experiences in Your Stories by Beth Wiseman

Today's post by author Beth Wiseman will tickle your funny bone and get you dragging out all those old memories to use in your stories. -- Sandy

Beth: I think there is a little bit of me in every character I create, and I’ve heard other authors say this as well. But another thing that makes our stories interesting and fun is including life experiences. If you’ve been through the death of a spouse or loved one, you might feel called to write about that. Maybe you’ve been through a divorce or some other traumatic event. Or maybe you’re adopted and found your biological mother, like I did. Those things seem to find a way into our books, maybe as a source of self-healing or to simply educate others or let them known that they aren’t alone.

But I’m talking about something else. What has happened in your life that is funny, touching, scary, or tangible that you can share? 

Recently, I was in a small six-seater plane. We hit a deer on the runway while landing, and when we started to smell smoke, we were told we might have to jump out of the plane and onto the runway. The plane was going about seventy miles per hour at that point. Hmm . . . death by fire . . . or a bad case of road rash? I opted for the latter, but luckily the pilot said the smoke was from burning rubber when he slowed the plane down, so I was able to keep my seat until the plane stopped. You can bet that will end up in a book!

When I was in high school, a group of girls and I put bubbles in a fountain outside a bank. That was a popular and fairly harmless prank in the 1970s. But the next morning when I walked into my parents living room, my mother was glued to the television and said, “Oh my! Someone put bubbles in the fountain by the bank. The bubbles are flowing out into the street and causing a traffic jam.” My friends and I panicked all day, just certain we would somehow be caught, and we were horrified that our stunt made the news! We weren’t caught, by the way, but I recently included that that little incident in a book.

After my very first book signing, a group of us middle-aged women went on a scavenger hunt—in our jammies. There were other authors involved in the mischief, and there might be a few reading this who are thinking . . . oh dear, don’t mention names. Ha ha! I can see that making its way into a story also.

Incorporating experiences that evoke emotion based on personal experience can be therapeutic and wonderful, however touching or tragic those topics might be. But sometimes it’s refreshing to just throw out adventures that are nostalgic, fun, and sometimes very original. I seriously doubt I’ll run into many other people who have hit a deer on a runway. My agent—Natasha Kern—made me laugh. She said, “Where exactly do you people live where you can hit a deer on the runway?” Ah . . . life in the country. J

What about you? Any unusual or unique experiences that you could see yourself including in a book?


Beth Wiseman is best known for her Daughters of the Promise series and the Land of Canaan Amish series. Having sold over 1.5 million books, her novels have held spots on multiple bestseller lists, and she has been the recipient of many prestigious literary awards. Beth is contracted with HarperCollins Christian Publishing into the year 2019, and she has published fourteen novels and sixteen novellas to date.

Beth has a deep affection for the Amish and their simpler way of life, and while she plans to continue writing Amish love stories, she is also branching out into other areas including Christian contemporary romance novels and novellas.  Need You Now, The House that Love Built, The Promise and A Tide Worth Turning are some of these recent releases. 

Beth and her husband are empty nesters enjoying the country life in Texas with three dogs and a rooster. When she’s not writing, Beth loves to travel, paint, and enjoy time with friends and family. You can find Beth and her books at her website, Fans of Beth Wiseman on Facebook where she interacts with readers, and on Twitter at

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