No, this is not a recipe for cookies.
This is another one of those “I have writer’s block” moments. Nothing going on in my life right now other then that my sister’s ex is pulling her to him, then pushing her away like a yo-yo; my internet social circle has blown a computer chip (Internet Smudge); my deadline is creeping up on my butt for getting my novel in to the publishers; and my oldest friend’s brother is in jail. Oh wait, that isn’t my life—that is the lives of the people around me.
Yes, I have already used one part of that for an article here, but only because that directly effected me. The rest? Can I morally use it? You might be saying just by mentioning here I have used it, but I disagree. I have not gotten into the dirty little details.
There is a wealth of writing material here and I am not allowed to use it. Yes, you read right. I am not allowed by my family/friends to use the heartbreaking best of their lives. Both a verbal and written agreement that I entered into while still in college with my sister and oldest friend stated I could not use certain parts of their lives as my novels progressed.
Boy was I stupid.
When are the juiciest details off-limits to not just chitchat over tea with the girls, but considered gossip? When you write for a living (or even hobby), that is a battle line that you cross constantly. Sometimes you come out on the bright side, sometimes you come out with more then just a few nicks in your amour. It has been said more then once by more then one author that “to be a good writer, you have to break a few eggs and make some people mad, and to be a great writer, you have to alienate yourself to having no friends.”
But how often? How often do you need to lose in order to win? Is there a percentage rule, like say 80 percent to 20 percent? Is there a magic red line that will pop up like flypaper? Oh wait, we are supposed to use common sense. But ethically speaking, when does your version of common sense override mine?
Creating another world to live in with words or images always costs more then just some ink. It unfolds like a flower at sunset as it dips its petals into the river. It is something that needs to bake, then cool before it is ready. And you have to have all the right ingredients for it to rise to the occasion.