[found on nytimes.com; by COLSON WHITEHEAD]
“Write what you know. Bellow once said, “Fiction is the higher autobiography.” In other words, fiction is payback for those who have wronged you.
When people read my books “My Gym Teacher Was an Abusive Bully” and “She Called Them Brussels Sprouts: A Survivor’s Tale,” they’re often surprised when I tell them they contain an autobiographical element.
Therein lies the art, I say. How do you make that which is your everyday into the stuff of literature? Listen to your heart. Ask your heart, Is it true? And if it is, let it be. Once the lawyers sign off, you’re good to go.”
For more excellent tips on writing from Colson Whitehead, click here.