What is the worst thing that ever happened to you and how are you using that to power your fiction? You don't have to use this event in your plot, but this has such a high emotional sentiment that it can supercharge your writing.Well, that was a lot shorter! I guess I was exhausted after all my note taking from Robert Wiersema's workshop.
When you draw from a traumatic event in your life you are INSIDE your characters psychology, not trying to figure it out. This will show in your writing.
You've heard that you need to draw on universal themes in your story. What do people want? What do people fear? These things are universal, but for your story to be interesting it has to be unique. How can you do this? How can you write about universal themes and yet make your story unique? Here's the secret: Infusing your story with your experience will make it unique and it will lend it verisimilitude.
After you've exhausted your own material, phone up a police crime lab, they will tell you all sorts of grizzly stories. Don't be shy about contacting folks and asking them to talk to you about their experience.
Remember, rule number one is: Write what you know.
Hmmm, should I continue on and post my notes from Don Maass's workshop, "The Inner Journey"? I'm turning the pages of my notebook -- I had left my notebook in my luggage but by this time I'd retrieved it -- and I think there's too much material here to post right now so I'll save it for Wednesday. (I'm writing this at 11:30 pm Tuesday. I'll set this post to be automatically published early Wednesday.)
Till then. :)
Earlier posts in this series:
SiWC 2011 Day One, Part One: Don't Flinch: Robert Wiersema
SiWC 2011 Day One, Part Two: Don't Flinch: Robert Wiersema