Writing Life into Story

Re-reading The Secret Life of Bees has been so great because after reading Traveling with Pomegranates, I feel like I have read a “behind-the-scenes-making-of-Bees” special! I’m sure, by now, you can tell that I am a big fan of those little documentaries on DVDs.

Anyway, I am still in the process of reading Bees. Congratulate me. It’s been a few days, and I am only on the third or fourth chapter. I am loving it all over again. Kidd is an amazing storyteller, and what astounds me is how little details from her life inspire her but don’t take over the story. In other words, she’s not transforming what her life is into fiction. She weaves the little details in to enhance the story to make it more believable and relatable.

It makes me wonder what I would write a story about. A job-hunting, Type A, Asian-American, recently engaged grad who thinks entirely too much about her far away nuptials and details in the fabric of story making doesn’t seem to make the best character in a novel. That’s the point. Kidd isn’t writing about a middle-aged woman. She writes about a teenager in the 60s. Maybe she knows her or was her at some point, but it’s not obvious. I’m just babbling now. Excuse me while I continue to marvel at this stunning effect in writing.


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