Make Your Writing Come Alive:
Write About What Moves You

by Cheryl Rainfield, the award-winning author of STAINED, SCARS, and HUNTED, 2003

There’s a common saying among writers—write about what you know. I think that’s generally good advice. I’d like to add: write about what moves you, what you care about, what provokes strong emotion in you.

In my opinion, some of the best writing comes from something you feel passionate about, something that forces you to reach deep into your soul, into your emotions, responses, and memories. It’s what makes the writing come alive. It’s worked for me—and I’ve seen it work for other writers.

I’m not talking about likes and dislikes—I like to hike, I like cats—I’m talking about what pulls up emotion so powerful that you feel like a kid again, or you can’t avoid feeling whatever emotion is rolling through your body. That’s the stuff that can produce powerful fiction. That’s the stuff that can bring the fire of life to your work.

It doesn’t have to be something that makes you feel good. In fact, fear and pain can push a writer to write more furiously, more desperately, more passionately and true to the heart, than she or he would otherwise. But it does have to be something that evokes great emotion in you, if you want your writing to come alive, and make the reader feel its life.

So take a deep breath—and plunge into your soul, putting as much as you dare onto paper. Your writing will be stronger for it.

©Cheryl Rainfield, 2003

Written by Cheryl Rainfield, award-winning author of SCARS, STAINED, and HUNTED

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