Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cain and Abel

Cain and Abel. Two Brothers. Two everyday people. One Farmer and One Shepard. One murder.

There's a story there. Yeah, you might say the Bible's full of them (stories that is), but when you really get down to the nitty gritty of the Bible, it's kinda like a family history book. And a lot of people I know don't like reading family history books.

I bet if you told your kid that there's a story dripping with murder and intrigue he might get interested. On the other hand, if you told your kid it's just the story of everyday people he'd probably couldn't care less.

So, what's the point? To get your kid to read the Bible? No. But please, bear with me a moment.

I read and write fantasy as well as other genres of literature and I've found two rules apply best.

1) If you spice your fantasy elements with what is real or true, you will write a more engaging story. Case closed.
2) What is real is more fantastic than people might ever guess.

I'm not here to debate or give credence to those rules. We can do that another time. Neither am I here to tell you that the story of Cain and Abel is real, although it definitely follows those two rules I listed above.

I am here to tell you that as a writer I follow these rules. I live and breathe these guidelines. So much so that I've started doing my family history (geneaology) just for story ideas. And believe me, it is fascinating stuff, very fascinating stuff.

What I'm finding are everyday people with everyday problems placed in fantastic situations. These situations are filled with action, adventure, intrigue, mystery, suspense, romance, love, betrayal and everything anyone could want in an engaging story.

So yes, the point is a plug for family history, geneaology, and even keeping a journal of what happens to you, because, man, life can be frightening, fantastic, awful, and marvelous. Live it and don't be afraid to lift real life stories to place in your writing if you need to.

All of my posts somehow talk about writing, dancing, or music. Everyone of them, regardless of topic, is named after a song. Go out and listen to any of the hundreds of songs inspired by the story of Cain and Abel. Today I am listening to the Marsalis Family version.

1 comment:

  1. I love that you are blogging more. I feel like a proud mama encouraging you to spread your wings. lol I'm going to tweet this.