When people find out that I'm a writer/screenwriter/filmmaker I often hear "I've got the story for your next book." I always listen. Most times it's a boring story that only appeals to the person it happened too. But I repeat, I always listen. You never know what you might be able to mine into story gold.
As a youngster I believed that each and every idea I had was the most unique thing the world had ever seen. That train of thought lasted through my early twenties. My writing partner and I had been writing pretty much nonstop on a beloved project, You're the Reason. One of the lead characters, Elise, was suffering from sexual abuse perpertrated by her father Miles. Miles was a highly regarded attorney with ties to the community. From the outside it seemed as if the Donovans had the picture perfect family. The story we told was about as out there as you would think was possible. Rape, incest, unwanted pregnancy, etc. we threw everything we had at it to make the story stand out. I was convinced we had done it. Then I turned on my television.
There was a story on the news that could have been torn right from the pages of You're the Reason. I couldn't believe it. I went to work a bit down that day. I shared what happened with a coworker. I will never forget what she told me. Lynn said, "Missy any story you can imagine is happening to atleast one person in the world."
I have taken those words to heart and learned that's what makes people flock to books and movies alike. They are searching for their stories and ultimately for themselves...