Saturday, February 02, 2013

How I Came to Write This Story: Mike Monson

My story Criminal Love started out the same way as most of my fiction: with a ‘what if’ moment.

There is a couple I’ve known about for at least 10 years. The wife works full time. The husband, as far as I know, has never worked and is often in the county jail for up to 12 months. This man looks like a criminal and is, basically, a total asshole. I suspect he abuses his wife. He spends all his wife’s money on himself while not working any kind of job on his own, and, what is worse, he acts like he is something special.

So one day I just thought, what would this guy do if someone at a party or a bar asked him, innocently, “What do you do for a living?” What would his answer be? And, further, how would he react if someone challenged him on it and tried to make him admit he was a bum?

So I started writing a story from those questions. Once the main tension was established I just kept writing and writing blindly until an actual fiction story emerged somehow. Then, I went back and changed the beginning to go with this new story.

What came out as I typed, of course, is completely different from the real-life couple.

My site:


Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - Thanks for hosting Mike.

Mike - Thanks for sharing the inspiration for your story. I do a lot of 'what-if' myself and you're right about its power.

David Cranmer said...

I enjoy what I've read of Mike Monson's work.

Great post on the process.

Charles Gramlich said...

Some of my ideas begin in very similar ways. real life people make great jumping off spots.