In writing, there is both fiction and nonfiction. Obviously, nonfiction is going to be based on a true story or something base that has happened in real life. However, fiction is all made up in the mind of the individual who writes it.
However, even with fiction, there is a little bit of true behind. I might be wrong, but from what I have experienced and other authors I’ve talked to, they always put a little bit of either themselves and/or people they know. Not that they copy exactly who the person is but maybe a characteristic or two. Or maybe a situation that has happened they use that experience and they write about it in a fictional way.
I think when we do this as authors it helps to make our stories a little bit more interesting. The readers can relate the characters because they seem real even though they know they aren’t.
With my current story I’ve been able to take my experience after I lost Mari and help to infuse some of those feelings I had at the time and help to make my main character that much more real. I wouldn’t know how to write about loss the way I have if I’d never been through it. My hope is that it comes across the page when a reader reads it.