Real Life Can Give Us Our Best Material

Have you ever wanted to write an intense fight scene that seemed realistic? Or, maybe, you just want people to emotionally connect with what your character is going through.

There are many ways to attain that vividness that writers want to reach. Most of us have a magnificent knack for storytelling. We can create worlds with wild purple flowers that, at first, seem innocent and beautiful, but later we find that the soft velvet exterior holds death within it’s thorns. Or, the evil woman living down the street, with her menacing grimace and old rotting teeth, after a few craftily written pages, turns out to be a sad depressed lady in need of a friend.

Yes, our imaginations can fill in most gaps and create visions whether we have had these experiences or not. BUT…

You knew there was a “but” coming, didn’t you?

There is also a time when real life experiences can be captured on the page and emotionally reach out, grab your readers, and pull them into your story.

Find those moments and write them down. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to flow, but if you can capture the feelings, the movements, the psychological state of being of the experience, this can be a potent tool for your writing.

With that said, I will leave you with a poem I wrote after driving with my daughter today. It was her first time driving on swerving, mountainous roads and I am…well…not the best passenger ever. 🙂

A Mountain Drive

The overwhelming sense of fear

No control

I’m going to die, but that makes no sense

Everything is well in hand

Everything is going according to plan

And yet, at any moment, I know


That our life will spiral out of control.

To the depths of my bones,

Though all evidence shows this is not the case,

My body, my emotions, my tears and sweat

Tell me that I do not have long to live.

Every movement is danger

Every reaction is exaggerated

Both hands on the wheel

Keep your eyes peeled

You don’t know what could happen

Will happen

We’ve arrived

I survived

Nice driving, sweetheart.

Happy Writing!

Copyright Nevin Culley 2013


Fallen Heroes


~Photo by ABC News

Fallen Heroes

They are so strong

in their willingness to run toward danger

when the natural response

is to head in the other direction.

We think that their courage

will always keep them standing

between the danger and those who need help.

It is tough to understand

that sometimes our heroes have been lost.

But even when these heroes fall,

they live on in those who take up their battlecry and fight on in their name.

~Nevin Culley

In Memory and Honor of our Fallen Heroes

Copyright Nevin Culley 2013