FILL IT UP WITH YOURSELF

Story image
02 Jun

FILL IT UP WITH YOURSELF

This week, in class, I asked you to: 1) Identify the emotion the protagonist was feeling in your story’s next scene. 2) Write about a real moment from your own life when you felt that same emotion. 3) Write your story’s next scene using some of the your own real feelings, thoughts, visceral details from the memory. Why?  Because truth is what separates good fiction from bad fiction.  Truth.  Writing that connects with the reader, that really sings in the heart, is the emotional stuff we recognize.  “That’s true,” we think.  “That’s honest.”  To put it another way, what separates your spy ninja story from another writer’s spy ninja story?  You do. So should you write a thinly-veiled confession about your parents or friends?  Not necessarily, although that’s an option many fiction writers enjoy.  Regardless of how realistic or autobiographical your story may be, if you animate it with your honest thoughts and feelings and dreams and nightmares, then it will feel true to your reader. Best, Kate

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