Using real Life and Psychology as a source of inspiration for stories. My opinion.


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Thread: Using real Life and Psychology as a source of inspiration for stories. My opinion.

  1. #1

    Using real Life and Psychology as a source of inspiration for stories. My opinion.

    I'm starting to think psychology plays an important part in helping inspire people write fiction. I know it's just a guess. But when writing stories, based on real people. It made me think how my own life can be thought up as goal, motivation, and conflict.

    I am thinking of a goal, maybe based on fictionalizing my life it would be this. A burglar wants to retire for the rest of his life who is a brother of someone who is an industrial (hard-working) worker, and he cannot make peace that he needs to go to college. If you reverse the roles of certain people I know I get this sense i can come up with an easier story outlined this way. Now not all writers outline. But what if I told you psychology is an interesting field of study for a writer. Goal, motivation, and conflict can all mirror psychological theory. What is different is people as writers could be inspired by using these three parts to the character as conflict. I know it is just my opinion.

    So I made a thread a long time back, and intend to study a little bit of psychology. Namely these topics. Because writers make up lies about real people, it can help make for a better approach at least for me.

    Every character should be real and partly false it seems to me. That's just my opinion. I was thinking people could really do this?

    My aunt has a broken bone, if I create a conflict with my mother who has plenty of time been humiliated that's instantly a way to characterize her.

    So it seems we need to observe and ask why people behave in certain ways? Why does a person not want for someone to buy the groceries? Maybe they are a compulsive spender.

    My theory is real life can inspire writers. A goal to my understanding creates action for a character, especially when two wants clash.

    So I can create composite characters this way. Change one aspect of them, they can then provide a more powerful conflict like the thief scenario and the hardworking brother. Both are examples in my case of family history.

    Conflict is anything that stops the character. I have yet to read conflict theory but frustrating someone's desire is the same as having incompatible goals or wants. Just that adversity affects them is all.

    This is all my theory, but today it came up, after thinking imagination can be based on real life as well. Now do you agree or disagree with this?
    I would follow as in believe in the words of good moral leaders. Rather than the beliefs of oneself.
    The most difficult thing for a writer to comprehend is to experience silence, so speak up. (quoted from a member)

  2. #2
    Reading the classics left me with the notion that until Shakespeare came along writers were just left to play catch up to the Greeks and the like...they got there first because it was written down...for me all that is human is there and what is left to write is nothing new on human experience...
    The only one who can heal you is you.




  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by escorial View Post
    Reading the classics left me with the notion that until Shakespeare came along writers were just left to play catch up to the Greeks and the like...they got there first because it was written down...for me all that is human is there and what is left to write is nothing new on human experience...
    You have writers claiming childhood inspired them since it created vaguely in their heads stories. Flannery o conner comes to mind with that quote. Writers make lies based on human experience is my take. Writers are observers. We need to ask why? We need to study human behavior. If characterization is needed to begin most stories or are better than the grand majority of stories (Lajos egri first said this) that the genius Aristotle was wrong ( on his explanation on what writers did right by greek writers it was plot). Then Aristotle was wrong on his approach that plot came first. That human studies on stereotypes and archetypes has been done to write characters today that have changed with time and culture). Therefore why the untold man or woman's story can leave room for the imagination. Let's say only one person had the scoop of all the indian tribes in Australia are none on are the mark. If stories are based on human emotion, it negates the fact that plot takes precedence is my argument. So I both agree and disagree with your statement. but I got two things out of it. That you said indirectly something. Which I can't be 100% certain because of how you said it. I thought human experience is emotion and the imagination is simply how can I leave the dull parts out and reimagine their life?

    Shakespeare, I haven't studied in depth. But he was the best tragic writer that elicited morality as truth. But in my view no one knows his method or his ways. Writing nowadays uses a language at least in the modern library workshop to suggest its important to some degree. Shakespeare's tragedy is a dramatic retelling of a old story maybe. Because he relied on past stories.

    It's a different way, but without a character to care about what is a story, and how is it going to interest others?

    What is an imitation of action? I come from the opposite point of view. Over reliance on plot lead stories and cliched plots, almost no one can get away with. But shakespeare could be the exception since he was a genius. Today that philosophy and definition has changed. No one wants to read a cliched plot.

    We can say there is no original plot and there are original characters and we can get away with this statement as an agreement.

    Shakespeare didn't expect to be remembered like we do today. A writer uses no prescience, a writer never knows when he or she could become famous.

    Moby dick has both things going for it seems. It has a strong retelling but of a forgotten plot of whale hunting. It also has great characters and characterization. It was lavishly praised.
    Last edited by Theglasshouse; July 13th, 2019 at 11:12 PM.
    I would follow as in believe in the words of good moral leaders. Rather than the beliefs of oneself.
    The most difficult thing for a writer to comprehend is to experience silence, so speak up. (quoted from a member)

  4. #4
    I'm aware that my thoughts on the subject are influenced by Albert Camus...i basically follow his lead
    The only one who can heal you is you.




  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by escorial View Post
    I'm aware that my thoughts on the subject are influenced by Albert Camus...i basically follow his lead
    Philosophy seems an area of interest for me, but the only science with 100% human truth behind it is math. In philosophy at least they argue over holistically what has come before by the world's greatest thinkers. It makes me think we live in a research based world. Which Aristotle started with the scientific method. Even though his science was wrong. He had the wrong knowledge on human health. Which requires a scientific approach.
    I would follow as in believe in the words of good moral leaders. Rather than the beliefs of oneself.
    The most difficult thing for a writer to comprehend is to experience silence, so speak up. (quoted from a member)

  6. #6
    Math is the language of science but without human experience it has no value
    The only one who can heal you is you.




  7. #7
    I find it hard to imagine a good writer who didn't grasp psychology. Without understanding a characters thoughts, feelings, fears, motivations, etc (and without making sure those are similar to that of a real life human being), you don't have a character with inner life.

    As far as inspiration, I guess so. I don't personally find a whole lot of creative spark from contemplating psychological principles and conditions or anything with an -ism or a -disorder or a -syndrome tagged to it. What I do is consider 'What if' a lot when it comes to human situations and dilemmas and try to view it through the prism of thoughts and feelings:

    - How would it feel to be stranded on a desert island?
    - How would it feel to go back in time and encounter Jesus?
    - How would it feel to murder somebody on accident?

    The third one is actually the basis of a story I wrote recently about a boy who accidentally murders his younger brother. There's a lot of scope for originality in conceiving not necessarily of new ideas but rather different angles on old ones. Accidental death itself is not interesting. Accidental death of a family member by a child? Total mind fuck. At least for me. YMMV.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  8. #8
    I've always enjoyed and disliked how writers put human thoughts into animal Characters...when the first novel written by an animal on human thoughts that may be summit to read..the math probability of you put monkies in a room with typewriters they could write Macbeth..maybe humans have to
    The only one who can heal you is you.




  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    I find it hard to imagine a good writer who didn't grasp psychology. Without understanding a characters thoughts, feelings, fears, motivations, etc (and without making sure those are similar to that of a real life human being), you don't have a character with inner life.

    As far as inspiration, I guess so. I don't personally find a whole lot of creative spark from contemplating psychological principles and conditions or anything with an -ism or a -disorder or a -syndrome tagged to it. What I do is consider 'What if' a lot when it comes to human situations and dilemmas and try to view it through the prism of thoughts and feelings:

    - How would it feel to be stranded on a desert island?
    - How would it feel to go back in time and encounter Jesus?
    - How would it feel to murder somebody on accident?

    The third one is actually the basis of a story I wrote recently about a boy who accidentally murders his younger brother. There's a lot of scope for originality in conceiving not necessarily of new ideas but rather different angles on old ones. Accidental death itself is not interesting. Accidental death of a family member by a child? Total mind fuck. At least for me. YMMV.
    From a psychology perspective I am thinking much the same. The basic parts of a story have psychological terminology: goal, motivation, conflict. These are the same words used in psychology textbooks. But I wouldn't go beyond that much. I was thinking I could write my life by creating lies of each of these by changing the background of a character, but keeping in mind these 3 parts. Because every book on theory mentions these as necessary to storytelling or most. But if we understood a least a little bit of psychology it can help a writer who needs to base characters on real people to tell a story. This is what I do. In your case i think you mentioned real people once in a characterization discussion. But I could be mistaken since that was a long time ago.

    Nice examples, and you explained these well to us, and I do like them all as they make me interested as a reader. If that works for you I understand why. It's well explained as to how to "imagine a situation", and I am glad you shared this. Usually when people tell me how to imagine with what if I don't know how to go about it, but this seems inspiring. It could inspire me as I like "imaginary situations". That's well put. Every person who says to use what if has explained it wrong. I glad you shared what you knew and what works for you as a writer. It makes us all learn more.

    Fear as a plot device and hope I don't know that much about, but am intrigued since these can also be used as well.
    I would follow as in believe in the words of good moral leaders. Rather than the beliefs of oneself.
    The most difficult thing for a writer to comprehend is to experience silence, so speak up. (quoted from a member)

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Theglasshouse View Post
    I'm starting to think psychology plays an important part in helping inspire people write fiction. I know it's just a guess. But when writing stories, based on real people. It made me think how my own life can be thought up as goal, motivation, and conflict.

    I am thinking of a goal, maybe based on fictionalizing my life it would be this. A burglar wants to retire for the rest of his life who is a brother of someone who is an industrial (hard-working) worker, and he cannot make peace that he needs to go to college. If you reverse the roles of certain people I know I get this sense i can come up with an easier story outlined this way. Now not all writers outline. But what if I told you psychology is an interesting field of study for a writer. Goal, motivation, and conflict can all mirror psychological theory. What is different is people as writers could be inspired by using these three parts to the character as conflict. I know it is just my opinion.

    So I made a thread a long time back, and intend to study a little bit of psychology. Namely these topics. Because writers make up lies about real people, it can help make for a better approach at least for me.

    Every character should be real and partly false it seems to me. That's just my opinion. I was thinking people could really do this?

    My aunt has a broken bone, if I create a conflict with my mother who has plenty of time been humiliated that's instantly a way to characterize her.

    So it seems we need to observe and ask why people behave in certain ways? Why does a person not want for someone to buy the groceries? Maybe they are a compulsive spender.

    My theory is real life can inspire writers. A goal to my understanding creates action for a character, especially when two wants clash.

    So I can create composite characters this way. Change one aspect of them, they can then provide a more powerful conflict like the thief scenario and the hardworking brother. Both are examples in my case of family history.

    Conflict is anything that stops the character. I have yet to read conflict theory but frustrating someone's desire is the same as having incompatible goals or wants. Just that adversity affects them is all.

    This is all my theory, but today it came up, after thinking imagination can be based on real life as well. Now do you agree or disagree with this?

    Glass: After you finish reading psychology, study sociology. You will find it a fascinating look into the human mind on a macro scale. The combination of both disciplines will help your character development immensely.

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