Just Write

Use emotional experience for fiction

Vu Tran“Vietnamese American Vu Tran says when he writes fiction, he is less concerned about using any ‘factual experience’ he has had, but instead seeks to relate the ’emotional experience’ he has lived.” — The Writer Magazine, December 2015

When I read this, I sat up and paid attention.

“Aha,” I thought, “Brilliant idea to tap into the emotional element of an experience and bring that into fiction writing.”

Vu Tran used a traumatic event in his life to explain a pivotal character in his fiction.

“. . . fiction writers can often have more impact if they draw on their emotional experiences rather than just relating what actually happened.”

Vu Tran used this philosophy when writing Dragonfly (set in Las Vegas) while in Chicago. “. .. the distance from Las Vegas worried me at first. But I decided the emotional memory of Las Vegas  . . . allowed me to recreate the city in a more realistic way than if I was taking notes in front of the casino doors.”

Your turn. Write about an emotional experience. For ideas, click on Write Authentically About Difficult Subjects and How To Write Without Adding Trauma.

Use the details from that writing to develop character and scene when writing fiction.

File all of this writing where you can access it when you are ready to use it in your writing.


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