Does an authentic experience make your writing more valid? Does it actually make it more believable to the reader? I sometimes ask myself this question. When I was younger, I assumed that if you are writing about an incident that really happened it made the writing better, but looking back I can see this is a fallacy.
When I review my work, sometimes when I have been so keen to get it down on paper and share a real experience the quality of the writing isn’t always as good. And at times, the story doesn’t work even though I want it to or feel it should. I think if I was writing Kissing Velvet again it might be different. But when it was written, it reflected where I was in my life at that time and I was passionate to include certain events and sensations and emotions. There was an urgency to it.
In the past, I once included an actual experience in my writing where the publisher dismissed what I wrote as fantasy, saying that couldn’t possibly have happened. It annoyed me and the reason I fought to keep it in was because it did happen. In the end, though, I took the incident out and on reflection it improved the writing. But it was hard to let it go, because it was personal. I got quite defensive.
I’m hoping I now have the maturity to accept that writing about the truth is a completely separate issue from the quality of the writing.