I take the concept of owning everything I experience and using it as writing material very seriously. Maybe too seriously. But, I like it. I like taking reality and then twisting it around and making it pretty. Making it fiction. Because, let's be honest, reality isn't always all it's cracked up to be.
Some of my stories only have a hint of real life to them. Like Save The Date, which I wrote after watching my six year old experience her first crush. The characters and the story are completely made up, the idea is not. Then there are stories like Unhurt, in which I included characters that are real people in my real world. In Unhurt I even went so far as to name the one character after the real person (with her permission of course!)
Then there are those books where I can't tell if I've been extremely lazy or extraordinarily brilliant. Like One More Chapter, for example. Almost all of the characters are inspired by my brother's quirky cast of friends, the setting is his is hometown and all of the local hang outs...are all the local hang outs. The story is completely made up. I mean, completely! And really, I don't know any of his friends well enough to write characters based on them, so while I say inspired, I really mean loosely...very loosely...inspired. Possibly only in looks. And initials. Because I'm daring like that.
But...while this seemed like a lot of fun when it started, as the story came to a head and my hero and heroine moved ever closer to the bedroom, I realized a distinct flaw in my operation. If I was to ever write a sex scene for this couple, I would essentially have to write a sex scene about this guy. This real guy. A guy I've met. A guy I may have to look in the eye again at some point in the future. And even if he was completely unaware of the fact that I would have seen him naked and done dirty, dirty things to him...I would not have that luxury. So, the sex scene...well, was only the kind of sex scene I could continue to maintain eye contact with.
Although, it's not like I've never done it before. I have. I've written exes into books. I've used hot male friends and made them sexy naked heroes. But those were my people. I didn't care if they knew I saw (imagined...saw - it's all the same thing) them naked. Hell, most of them, I have seen naked. Or, naked enough. So, eye contact wasn't an issue. Or, you know, maybe it already was :-P
So, the lesson here is...you own every experience...as well as every experience you can imagine...but you may want to imagine making eye contact with people you write about after you've written about them before you write about them. There. Made total sense.