Back in the day, when I still wore pigtails and forgot to brush my teeth every morning, my sister and I were playing in the alley behind our house. I’m not quite sure exactly what happened, but all of a sudden, I was on the ground. Flat on my back. I looked up just in time to see my sister’s bike barreling toward me.
Forehead, meet tire.
My sister ran over my head, not once, but twice. Both her bike tires thunked over my forehead. Thunk. Thunk. I had tire tracks on my head for a week.
Okay, maybe not a week. In fact, I’m not even sure you could see the tire marks of her blue banana seat bike at all. However, the story sounds way cooler if my battle wounds remained visible for a whole week…or was it a month?
You see, that’s the amazing thing about being an author. It’s my job to make stuff up. I can pull ideas right out of thin air like a magician, I can embellish (which means to exaggerate the details), or I can tell half truths. As long as it makes sense and adds to my story, I can write just about anything.
Fast forward a few light years to my middle grade novel, Abigail Bindle and the Slam Book Scam. My main character Abi gets plowed over by the bullies–an event that inadvertently (which means in a round about way) helps her solve the mystery and clear her name.
When my sister ran over my head, I never solved a mystery, but I did call her a name or two. One for each tire track!
What unbelievable things have happened to you? As a writer, how can you make boring things sound better? When do things sound too crazy to be true?
Curious minds want to know.
p.s. In just a few short months, you’ll be able to read how I snuck my bike accident into a novel about boys, bullies and dirty tricks.