Just sit there and bleed...
Ernest Hemingway was an American novelist who wrote from the twenties right through to the fifties. Among his most famous books are: For Whom The Bell Tolls (1940) and The Old Man And The Sea (1952). He was a giant in the literary world of the day. What has Ernest Hemingway got to do with me? I hear you groan.
Well, Hemingway once said, 'Writing is easy. You just sit at the typewriter and bleed.'
What he meant, I believe, is that good writing should come from your soul. From experiences you'd rather forget. I can remember (to my shame) being a selfish, sullen wee brat. So, in the first chapter of Young Eagle Rising, when William finally arrives at Londonderry Port and realises for the first time just what a huge decision this has been for his parents, he admits:
'I hadn't realised our departure would be so gut-wrenching. In truth, I hadn't thought that far ahead. Wallowing in my own misery, I'd done nothing but complain for weeks. I had sulked and argued over every little thing and made everyone's life miserable...... I could be a selfish, sullen wee brat at times...
Ring a bell anyone? Then dig up those feelings and use them.