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Turning Life into Fiction:
If you've got friends who are fiction writers, watch out: "Writers are spies, liars, and thieves," writes Robin Hemley in Turning Life into Fiction, and your words, deeds, and character--benevolent and malevolent alike--could be immortalized in print some day. If you write fiction, listen up, look around, and take note. Why strain your brain making things up when you can transform real life into stories worth telling? Hemley recommends keeping a journal ("It's akin to an artist's sketchbook"), writing down your dreams (the unconscious is a great source of free material), and mining all those crazy stories your grandmother used to tell. Then combine bits and pieces from these sources, take one great mind leap (and many drafts) and--voila--you've got fiction. Warning: even though it really happened, it might not be believable. Second warning: while it's hard to know when something you write will offend the person it's based on, says Hemley, "above all, don't mess with male pattern baldness." [via]