No, I Don’t Carry Those Facts Around With Me

Last week, a friend asked me, “You know what I don’t get? How do you remember all that stuff to put in your story? All those facts?”

She was specifically talking about the fan fiction that I’ve been writing and she’s been reading, which involves a real person and therefore, contains a few facts of said real person’s life and career within the story.

“It’s probably displacing something important,” I replied. In my case, anything I stuff my brain with during a project is displacing math.

But I’ve been thinking about this–and then I came across the above pretty quote because it’s really true, isn’t it? Writers steals things from life, from other people, from books, movies, TV, and whatever else and it gets folded, reshaped, recorded, and shaded into our stories.

It’s one of those brain mysteries, because while I feel like I don’t remember a lot of things about my characters or the setting or something, when I’m really in the zone with a story, I’m pulling all kinds of things out of the subconscious.

I’m also pulling a lot of things out of random websites, Google, Google Maps, and Wikipedia.

But it’s a lot more romantic to say that it’s pouring forth from my subconscious.

So. What kind of random things do you all find popping up in your stories?

8 thoughts on “No, I Don’t Carry Those Facts Around With Me

  1. Inspiration grows on tress. :)The mind of a good writer is like a sponge, after all, soaking up all these seemingly random images so that we can pull them out of the subconscious later. Or at least remember to Google it when we need to. Google is awesome. I do find it curious that I start 90% of my stories in the fall.


  2. Do you mean that you start writing them in the fall or the stories start in the fall? You have to admit, it is kind of *odd* that writers just have random useless facts in their brains and they come out to play when necessary.


  3. The stories start in the fall. I actually start writing most of my projects between March and April. I actually think its normal to have random facts stored away in my brain. πŸ™‚ Everyone stores random facts. I think writers just tend to have a greater variety of seemingly useless stuff.


  4. Yeah, I write a lot about Chinese history and culture, but I fill my mind with it as well. I live in China, I go exploring and traveling, and I read A LOT. But also Google is amazing. Just today I was wondering \”could girls inherit their father's money and property if they didn't have brothers?\” A three minute Google search later, I had my answer. I have a master's in English, though, which required a lot of research, so I think I am pretty good at finding things I need to know quickly. The only bad part is when I get lost in research and loose valuable writing time, haha.


  5. Falling down the research rabbit hole is a pretty common affliction, I think. I've read a lot of English-set historical fiction, so I have the order of the nobility memorized, which is pretty useless otherwise.


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