We all know the sage old advice of “writing what you know.” It isn’t so much that we should limit our writing to our daily lives, but that we should use our highs and lows in our writing along with the physical sensations and emotions they produced.
To give our characters depth of emotion and experience, we need to lend them ours.
Normally a writer’s mind records the big stuff even as we go through it. It’s how we’re built. It’s much harder to remember the rest of our range of experiences but they also give life and flavor to our characters.
A writer’s journal is a good way to record events for future use–things like birth, death, achievement, loss, promotion–the big things. But also draw on other experiences such as childhood humiliation, betrayal, enthusiasm and excitement. Record your experiences of break ups, friends you miss, narrow escapes and if-only moments…
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