Finding your fiction in nonfiction

Hey, folks–

I read a lot of different stuff, all the time. Part of my regular reading material is nonfiction, not just because it’s interesting but because real life provides a lot of interesting story ideas. Especially since I write genre fiction. So here are a few articles I’ve recently read that maybe you’ll find give you some ideas. Especially if you write genre fiction, too.

The Vanishing,” by Bob Briel, Outside (July 2012)
In the stunning and remote wilderness along northern British Columbia’s Highway 16, at least 18 women — by some estimates, many more — have gone missing over the past four decades. After years of investigation, authorities still don’t know if it’s the work of a serial killer or multiple offenders. BOB FRIEL drives into the darkness for answers.

I’m also a huge fan of travel writing. Try this one (winner of the bronze Solas award, by the editors of Travelers’ Tales):
Letting Go on the Ganges,” by Kristin Zibell
A recently divorced woman finds endings and beginnings in India.

Mexico Feeds Me: Exploring Mexico’s Culinary Heritage,” by Javier Cabral (Saveur, first published in issue #138)
In rural Zacatecas, Mexico, a young writer explores his heritage by cooking the rustic, boldly flavored dishes of the region.

I’m also a westerner born and bred, so I’m a sucker for a western-flavored essay.
West to East, and a world away,” Charles Finn (Writers on the Range, in High Country News, February 17, 2012)
After 20 years in the West (and he’s come to love it), a writer has to go back East.

And maybe something you didn’t think you’d ever WANT to think about: Jailhouse food.
An Insider’s Guide to Jailhouse Cuisine,” by Sean Rowe (Oxford American [the Southern Magazine of Good Writing], originally appeared in Issue 61, The Oxford American Best of the South issue, 2008)
The author spends time in jail, and offers us this slice of life in the big house and the role of food therein.

So there you are, peeps. Maybe you’ll find some…ah…food for thought in some of these pieces and BOOM the next plot for your next novel will hit you.

Happy writing, happy reading!

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