I love the coffee mug that says, “Be nice to me, or I will put you in my next book.”

But I think an even better one would be, “Wanted: fools that make characters of themselves.”

Because we all have those moments we hope nobody else saw.

Which are priceless tidbits for our stories.

You know what I’m talking about. Those things that nobody would believe.

Except they really happened.

Like the time I walked through the halls of my middle school with my uniform skirt up around my backside as my entire eighth grade class watched.

A dog had wandered into the classroom, and I’d scooped him up and marched him to the door where I released him.

Took me about three years to live that one down.

Or the time I was singing along to a Christian song on my Walkman as I took my daily walk. At the top of my lungs. Then I stopped to tie my shoelace and discovered two boys walking behind me who’d heard every off-key word. Because I can’t carry a tune in a bucket.

Then there was the time when I was about four and a neighbor boy took my bicycle. I asked my dad to get my bike back, but he said I needed to do it for myself. So I marched down there, pushed the boy off, and got my bike back. Then the boy ran to his father who came to complain about me being a bully.

Embarrassing, yes, but great fodder for your stories.

So the next time something happens to you or somebody else, consider how you might write that into a story, or even into a character’s backstory. Knowing my character went through this bicycle incident reveals to me their profound sense of justice, their desire for all to be right with their world, and the courage to be the change they want to see.



Leeann is giving away a free copy of her ebook, “Hidden Assets”! To enter the giveaway simply like Gilda’s Facebook page or leave a comment about this post on Gilda’s Twitter account with the hashtag #HiddenAssets via the links below. Winner will be chosen at random. Giveaway ends November 12, 2017 at 11:59 PST.

Author Bio:

Leeann Betts writes contemporary suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical suspense. She has released six titles in her By the Numbers series, with another releasing December 2017. In addition, Leeann has written a devotional for accountants, bookkeepers, and financial folk, Counting the Days, and with her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, has published a book on writing, Nuggets of Writing Gold, a compilation of essays, articles, and exercises on the craft. She publishes a free quarterly newsletter that includes a book review and articles on writing and books of interest to readers and writers. You can subscribe at www.LeeannBetts.com or follow Leeann at www.AllBettsAreOff.wordpress.com All books are available on Amazon.com in digital and print.

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Guest posts are the opinion of that author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Gilda Evans or others posted here.