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Goosebumps mean truth.

3. November 2008

In my current book, there are a lot of references to my family. No, the characters are not based on them, but there’s a lot of me and where I come from in this story. Even some of the names reflect that.
I doubt that even my parents could pick up on many of the references, but they are tehre for me, creating a rich backdrop for the story I am telling.

When I was in drama school, my primary drama coach had basically one advice for us: “Always give everything.” There is no sense in holding something back for later. With every single thing you do, you have to give all of yourself, lay yourself bare on the stage. in his class, I’ve cried until I was a snotty, blotchy mess. I’ve thrown myself against walls. I’ve screamed and yelled and whispered brokenly. And that’s when it was good.

Writing is like acting with only words. You can’t hold back that perfect setting, those deeply personal words, those opinions and insights you have. You have to give them on the page, every single time. You have to lay yourself bare. You have to be there, open for the world to see, naked on your own personal stage.
You can pretend you are hiding behind characters or settings or even plot, but it’s all you.

Writers have to be just as brave as actors (but fortunately, not as skinny). What we portray may not be us, but how we do it certainly is.

It’s scary. Every single day that I speak my truth is scary, but I am a better person for it. And maybe I am a better writer, too.

A dear friend of mine is fond of saying “goosebumps mean truth.” So speak your truth through your words and make your readers feel those goosebumps of real, raw emotional punch.

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