Once in a while I read a book so powerful emotionally that it hurts to keep reading and I have to shut the book, return to the real world, and breath. That is a book whose author has an authentic voice- who writes from a real place and transfers it into printed words on a page. The hurt is transformed and given to a created character giving life and depth to a made up being. While it no longer resembles the pain the writer felt, it remains authentic. This is what we mean when we tell people to write what they know. Too often writers think that means they need to know the nuts and bolts about how something works, but you can learn that through research (do your research!), but what it really means is- infuse your imagined beings with real world emotions, hurts, pains, ugly backstories that motivate them and drive them through the conflict. That’s the authentic voice. Write on! Use the pain!

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