Our childhoods provide a rich tapestry of resources which we can weave into our fiction. A child's perceptions are more unfiltered, their motivations are simpler, and their emotional ties more direct. Strip your adult characters down to their core and you essentially have the template of a small child: what primal goals and dreams buoy them up and what primeval fears and horrors shackle them down? Eventually, we must add nuance and subtlety and a job and romantic entanglements and we are no longer talking about children, but don't lose sight of the inner child.
We are not children anymore. Sometimes that inner child gets buried under career decisions, tax paperwork, family concerns, and civic duties. It is easy to put away your childhood as something irrelevant when you are snared in the trappings of adulthood. And childhood is certainly not the only source of inspiration for fiction, but I would argue it is at the core of most of them. Behind almost every super hero is an origin story of a wronged child overcoming adversity. Behind almost every villain is a kid who was bossed, teased, or spent his time pulling the wings off flies. Look behind the man or woman you see in the mirror today to the child who made you who you are.
Do not put the ways of childhood behind you. Use them. Delve into the myths and fairy tales. Seek out old inspirations. Dive deep for those forgotten memories. Give free reign to your inner child and see where he (or she) takes you.
Thank you for joining me on this fun journey these last few weeks. I hope you've enjoyed reading my guest blogs as much as I've enjoyed writing them. I'd like to thank The Book Cove for providing this opportunity to reach you. If you've enjoyed these weekly prose snacks and hanker for a full course meal, I encourage you to check out my upcoming first novel, Appalachian Monster, a coming-of-age story set in the Appalachian Mountains.
Thanks for reading!
J. H. Bardwell
Twigboat Press | Good fiction rocks the boat
Monster Mug Contest
The first 50 people to purchase the novel Appalachian Monster, post reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, sign up for my newsletter, and email me their address with a copy of the review will receive a free mug with a flattering picture of the adorable fanged, hairy "monster" featured in the novel. Grrrrrowl--scary!
The contest begins July 4, 2015 at 8:00 am and ends July 31, 2015 or when I run out of mugs, whichever comes first. The winners will be the first 50 emails sorted by email time stamp with confirmed reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Please feel free to post reviews on your blogs as well.
Coming July 4: Appalachian Monster
Hungry for more? Check out my new coming-of-age novel Appalachian Monster available for pre-order today and remember: this is a work of fiction.
J. H. Bardwell was born with stories in his heart and a pencil in his hand. To this day, he retains an odd black birthmark on his neck where he says the pencil poked him as they both left the womb. Raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the young man fled to see the rest of the country before the ink dried on his high school diploma.
Besides writing engrossing works of fiction, the author also enjoys aquaponics, making cheese, gardening, performing theater, and wrestling with hand tools. When not writing fiction or enjoying his hobbies, J. H. Bardwell works at a university where he teaches students to think critically and question everything. Then he teaches them to write. He keeps his degrees skinned and mounted on the back wall.