When it comes to novels:
Just because it really happened doesn't mean it "works."
Just because it really happened doesn't make it interesting.
Just because it really happened doesn't make it credible.
Writers draw from real life.
That's often what sparks our imaginations.
what adds "life" to our writing - gives it the sensory "glow" it needs,
the characters who seem so real, the dialogue that draws the reader
into the story, etc.
But fiction writing is still fiction.
It usually needs a heck of a lot more "spark" than real life.
can't tell you how many times I've heard a writer respond to a negative
critique or questionable comment about their story by saying, "But
that's the way it really happened."
My response to that is: "Yeah. So what?"
If it isn't interesting...
If it doesn't "work"....
If it isn't believable (even if it really happened!) ...
It might need a dose of FICTION.
my advice today is: Draw from real life. Use real life for your spark,
your seed, your first breath. But if you're writing fiction, add a layer
(or two or three), twist it in a new direction, shake it up, throw in
some spice, take it farther.....
You're writing FICTION.