Emotional Truth in Novels

In fiction, writing what you know means getting the facts correct in your information plot. It also means clearly presenting the underlying universal truth. That universal truth is what I call emotional truth, and it is what makes the story as real for an American as it is for an Italian or a Japanese reader.

Emotional Truth

Universal truth is the honesty and recognizable emotional truth that makes fiction come to life. It's what will make an editor offer you a book publishing contract or a reader buy every book or ebook you write.

One might even say that writing the emotional truth that you know – the emotions you feel when hurt, scared, angry, or happy – is even more important than anything else. Without that truth, your fiction falls flat. Sadly, a story without emotional truth will never succeed because readers won't emotionally invest in the story.

Takeaway Truth

Next time you're stuck in your writing, just write what you know. The emotional truth that makes the story come alive for you will also make it come alive for the reader.

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