When Fiction Become Reality; What To Do Then?
By Amber Farman
What happens when you come up with a great idea for a fictional story plot, begin working on it and then find yourself living it out two years later? That’s exactly what happened to me. Only my story has turned out a bit differently, so far.
Since I was a child my dream was to write a novel. Sounds cliché right? Except life got in the way and I never had “It.” I needed the story idea that could possibly get me from point A-Z.
One night while soaking in a hot bath it came to me in a flash. It came like a quick thirty-second movie trailer. This sound dramatic, I will admit. But it’s the only way to describe what happened. Up until this point in my life I wasn’t searching out book ideas or really focused on becoming an author. Life consisted of juggling my career and four children under seven. Writing a novel was still only a distant dream and a plan for when the kids were older, when maybe I had time.
My bath was instantly over and I jumped out and began running down the hallway. I was naked, and I was dripping wet! My kids were all asleep so I used my combo shout and loud whisper voice.
“I’ve got it! I have my story!” I exclaimed running down the hallways trying to not slip, making my way toward my husband in the family room watching T.V. I wish I still remembered what his faced looked like when I stood there dripping and waving my hands with excitement.
That night I began to write. My characters had no faces yet or even names for that matter. Those all came with time. All I had was the beginning and the end but the rest would come over the next seven years.
I worked on this manuscript and I began to tell a story about a mother of four who loved her family deeply and who was diagnosed with cancer. Not with breast cancer as I thought the whole pink ribbon thing was over-marketed. My strong female character was faced with hard decisions to make and would begin to see life differently through her cancer.
Two years passed and what happened then in my life still strikes me as unbelievable. Except when I look in the morning every day after my shower I am forever reminded that it all happened by all the scars I now wear.
At the age of thirty-one, I heard the words. The same words my character heard only two years prior as I began to write her story.
“The biopsy shows cancer. I’m sorry to say, you have breast cancer”
There are things in my life I can’t remember, but that day and the little details of that phone call will forever be etched into my memory. I even remember the sounds of my 4 kids playing in the backyard as I listened to the doctor.
What do I do now? Have I pre-written my destiny? Was I writing this story only to prepare myself?
I immediately ceased work on my manuscript. To be honest it freaked me out. Facing my own possible demise made it all too brutally real.
Then something happened. As I began to heal, recover and start my new post-cancer life, I began anew on the manuscript. Only this time I realized that I had found the missing element. That key component that I needed was the emotion, the raw feelings that each of my characters would have been faced with.
It still took me another five years to finish the story with a whole re-write and a second book added. Those fictional characters that entered my life taught me how to find peace in death, acceptance of the person I am and gave me a new passion for writing and life.
Overall I have embraced the fiction as well as my realty. Both have given me a new lease on life. I am healthy, strong and alive. This is why today this moment is the perfect time to write.
Amber Farman is the CEO of her own company she established in 2001. As an avid reader and blogger, Farewell My Loves was a story idea that came unexpectedly one night while relaxing in the bath. After working on this project for two years, Amber was shocked when she herself was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of thirty-one. Today she is cancer free and has learned to face her own fears of death through the characters of Farewell My Loves.
Amber is a married mother of four and a community leader who has started an international humanitarian group connecting North American families with service projects in developing countries. Although this will be Amber’s first published book, her next book is scheduled for release in the summer of 2015.
She lives in Northern California. http://amberfarman.com