MINING YOUR TRUTH

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02 Feb

MINING YOUR TRUTH

All fiction, whether it be realistic or fantastical, originates from something true in the author.  You may not be aware of this connection when you begin a story; in fact, I think it’s best if you don’t think about it when you’re starting out, so you don’t get scared off. At a certain point in the writing process, however, you need to ask yourself: what’s my personal connection to this story?  How does my experience resonate with this material?  I’m not talking about the superficial connections (i.e. “I have red hair, just like the protagonist!”); I mean the deep stuff that makes you feel nervous, or nauseous.  Consider your own conflicts, your own passions, your own fears, and somewhere in there you will most likely find yourself in your story. Before starting on your fiction writing this week, I’d like you to write a couple of paragraphs about that uncomfortable truth about yourself: particular memories that come up, feelings and thoughts, whatever is bubbling up.  You are not going to share this with anyone, not even me!  Tear it up when you’re done, or erase it, if you like. But then, when you’re writing your next scene, try to use some of those true feelings in the fiction.   Don’t write memoir!  Think of your inner truth as the heart beating inside the body of the story, powering it, helping it live.  Or, as Albert Camus once wrote, “Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.” Best, Kate

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