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Coaching KidLit Podcast-Episode 8: Using Source Material



Sharon and Christy discuss source material, challenges with adhering too close to facts, and ways you can put some distance between you and the “way things really happened” in order to tell a compelling and emotionally resonant story.




When you’re writing a scene  from a specific viewpoint character, try stepping back and getting inside your other characters and have them do and say what they would authentically say and do in that instance, rather than what you think your viewpoint character would hear or see.

This will help push you away from the original source material/experience.



Lostuns Found by Sharon Skinner After the Fall by Dan Santat Everything Sad is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri
Lostuns Found by Sharon Skinner After the Fall by Dan Santat Everything Sad is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri




[00:00:32] Christy Yaros: Hey Sharon.

[00:00:34] Sharon Skinner: Hey Christy, why don’t we talk today about source material, and by source material I don’t mean just other stories that we’re drawing from, but also our own experience, because this has been a topic that’s come up a lot lately, especially with clients and whether you’re writing nonfiction where you’re trying to get close to the bone but do it in a way that’s not whiny, right, when you’re writing memoir and that sort of thing, or you’re writing fiction. And you’re trying to get the truth and honesty of the emotion and the experience on the page, but you need to fictionalize it.

Source material can be very slippery.

[00:01:23] Christy Yaros: I agree, not just nonfiction and memoir, but historical fiction too. I think because you do all of this research and then you kind of want to put all of it in there or trying to stick too much to things that you read about in the past. Yeah.

Fictionalizing, a lot of things.

[00:01:41] Sharon Skinner: Yeah.

[00:01:43] Christy Yaros: So I know that in your most recent book you wrote about Peter Pan. Do you wanna talk about how you dealt with the issue of being too close to the source material?

[00:01:59] Sharon Skinner: Yeah, so Lostuns Found is my newest middle grade and it’s a steam punk, and it’s a mashup of the original Peter Pan and Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.

And it’s got elements of steam punk in it. When I was writing that I was very excited to explore the idea of using existing material. When I started this project, it was when Peter Pan had just come out into public domain. And I was very excited to dive into that because I’ve seen other authors do these wonderful books, using fairytales and mythology and other source material to great effect.

And in fact, I’ve seen several spins on the Peter Pan type of story. And as you and I both know, there aren’t any really any stories that haven’t been told, it’s just how we’re telling them. For the most part, it’s very unusual to see something vastly new in the world because stories tend to follow certain types of tropes depending on your culture.

So when I was writing this, I was having a really good time with it. I found out that source material can be really pushy and it can be really hard to distance yourself from that original story enough to tell something unique and new. And I ended up throwing away about 30% of the book and having to dive back in and start again and redo an Inside Outline for it in order to figure out how to make it work and make it uniquely mine. And then I was talking to an author recently, you know, you bring up historical fiction and he’s writing historical fiction and he’s using source documents, letters, and diaries, and, very tight source documents. And he was writing along and then he got stalled because there’s this wide open space where there aren’t any documents of what happened. And he suddenly found that he was trying to adhere too closely to the general idea of what might’ve happened in the history, in the context of it.

But it left his characters, kind of sitting there scratching their heads because they weren’t being authentic to who they had been developed to be to that point.

[00:04:39] Christy Yaros: Do you think that was because he didn’t actually develop them as fictional characters and more using the source material to create the characters?

[00:04:49] Sharon Skinner: Yeah, so here’s the difference for me. My characters were completely fictional and yet I had stuck in my head, all of the various iterations of those characters from previous, you know, you’ve got the Disney out there, you’ve got the movies out there, you’ve got the books out there that all have Peter Pan characters in them.

And my brain kept playing those loops over and over to me in ways that were not being helpful at the time. So I really had to push my way away from it. And I actually had to let it sit for a while. So I could go do more percolating and more thinking about it. And reading other books to get kind of almost clean that out of those loops out of my brain at that point was really interesting for him.

I think what happened is that he is trying to keep these characters as close to the truth of who they really were based on their papers and their diaries, because historical fiction is really tricky in that way. What you’re trying to do is really stay true to the events that took place. But then there are gaps where you need to fill in.

And so you’re trying to do almost like a Forrest Gump kind of thing, where you’re dropping in additional characters or you’re, you’re kind of having to make up that interconnecting material, but you still want those characters to be true to who you have realized them to be through their personal documents.

And that’s a very different thing than going and looking at history and going, oh, here’s the history that I’ve read because history is written by whoever comes later. Right and if you really want to do close to the bone historical fiction. You’re writing from direct source material, as much as possible, which he’s doing letters, diaries, that sort of thing to get inside these people as best he can.

And I think when it opened up to this space where there’s a gap that he needs to fill in because it’s unknown. And because he’s already developed them to that point, he has to sit and figure out, well, what would these people have done? Right. And, and I think he’s developed them quite deeply, especially in his own head, but it’s a matter of now they have choices to make that there’s no documentation.

And he’s moved forward since then, but at the time he was feeling kind of trapped into the, but I want it to be as real as possible. I want it to be as close to the truth as possible.

[00:07:39] Christy Yaros: But the truth also, isn’t always interesting enough. I mean, it’s fiction. Sometimes yes truth is stranger than fiction and you can’t make some of this crap up. But when you try to stick too much to what happened then? Yeah. Like when you get to a boring part from real life, how do you take that and make it into something interesting. But even though he’s writing about events that really happened, he’s not writing about events that really happened. He’s writing about that character’s lens of events that actually happened.

[00:08:15] Sharon Skinner: Exactly. It gets tricky. Like I was telling a client recently the truth and the way that you need to tell it, it’s, it’s a bit of a slippery thing and trying to get a grip on it and then hand it off to someone in a way that’s meaningful and authentic is very tricky and it can be really tricky, especially when you’re writing things like memoir or you know, or trying to write a personal narrative that is about. The truth is, especially since we all know that our brains and our memories are not photographic for most of us, most of us remember things. Well, first of all, we remember the situation through an emotional lens, right?

Because it’s however, we were in the world at that time is how we experienced it. And when we revisit it, we tend to revisit our memories through an emotional lens. And, oh, what was the name of that movie where they had the little girl with all of the emotions.

[00:09:25] Christy Yaros: Inside Out.

[00:09:26] Sharon Skinner: Yeah. So it’s just like that, that that’s based on real brain science, where your memories can change over time as you revisit them, because you’re influencing them through your personal lens as you so clearly pointed out. And so it, it can affect how we see the past and how we remember experiencing things and why our siblings that were at the same party remember it completely different.

[00:09:56] Christy Yaros: or not at all right?

[00:09:57] Sharon Skinner: Or yeah, or that, or it didn’t stick with them. And, and I was reading something on memoir recently. The author was saying not only that, but you don’t get to pick and choose what memories stick with you.

It’s not always the most critical or poignant or important memories that stick in your brain. Sometimes it’s the weird little things that seem to have very little meaning to you now, now that pop into your synapses.

[00:10:29] Christy Yaros: Yeah. And then the trick is to what you need to include and what you, you don’t need to include.

I mean, the goal memoir, nonfiction, fiction, you’re trying to tell a story. You’re trying to bring the reader along with you and we don’t necessarily need to know every single detail that happens even if it actually happened, right. If it doesn’t aid in the overall arc of the story and the character that you’re trying to show, then it needs to go.

[00:11:00] Sharon Skinner: Right. And, the trick for. Putting the emotion behind it so that you get emotion on the page, especially in something like, say memoir, is that what emotion do you want the reader to get? And how do you come across without being whiny? I mean, Everything Sad is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri is a really good memoir and it’s about his time when he was younger.

But it’s not whiny. And he went through some tough stuff, especially with his dad and everything. I think memoir can be particularly tricky on getting enough emotion on the page without making it sound like you’re complaining or woe is me, because we don’t want to hear somebody kvetch through, you know, 300 pages about their lives, but some people’s lives are super, super interesting.

Because we’ve all got stories to tell we’ve all lived through some kind of interesting stuff.

[00:11:57] Christy Yaros: Yeah. Well, so what do you think about, you know, I see this a lot, I’m pretty sure you see this a lot, especially with picture book writers who want to tell a story about something bad that actually happened a moment or a snapshot of something that.

You know, like our cats did, or our kid did, or a neighbor’s kid did or whatever. How do you usually deal with that?

[00:12:27] Sharon Skinner: Yeah. You know what? I think we had a conversation similar to this when we talked about emotional truth, because you know, really what it comes down to is that you need to strip away to the bare essence of what happened.

You strip away the surface stuff, which is, you know, my cat did this or my dog did this, but get to that deeper meaning of it because stories have meaning. And if you’re just telling a vignette about, oh, this funny thing, or this funny moment that happened, that’s more like a meme, right?

[00:12:30] Christy Yaros: a blog post

[00:12:37] Sharon Skinner: Yeah. It’s not necessarily, it’s not necessarily a good picture book story, or, you know, it’s not necessarily a good middle grade story. It’s not even necessarily a good short story. It might be fun flash fiction. If you’re a humor writer and you want to put that on your blog or something, and you know, haha, this was amusing.

[00:13:26] Christy Yaros: Instagram.

[00:13:27] Sharon Skinner: Right. But sometimes you also had to be there. And also you’re so close to the subject matter that it’s hard to realize sometimes that what you’re seeing is not a universal message. What you’re getting out of it is not universal. It’s not going to connect with that many people. And really what we’re trying to do with story is make those connections.

You want more of a universal story. So yeah, my dog did this. My kid did that. I mean, that takes us all the way back to that discussion. We had about Dan Santat’s book that makes us cry, not just the book, but the story behind it, After the Fall, about a fear of heights, which is really taken from a real life situation.

That’s not about heights at all. It’s about anxiety and being in the world. And I think that’s why it resonates is because the emotional truth of it. The guts of it were pulled out and told in that in a way that could be more universally meaningful to more people. And I think that’s kind of the key there.

[00:14:31] Christy Yaros: Yeah.

[00:14:32] Sharon Skinner: Because he could have just said, oh, this person has anxiety and this person, you know, and, and, but where’s the real story in that. Not that there’s not truth and importance to that, but how do you. Express that in a way that’s meaningful, that resonates without it being just that one person’s story.

And I think he did a beautiful job with it, especially since he used Humpty Dumpty, because Humpty Dumpty is pretty universal and we’ve never seen it told that way, so I think those are mentor texts for me now, even that picture book is a mentor text for me, for the type of writing that I do, even when I’m not writing picture books.

[00:15:08] Christy Yaros: Even what’s clever too, is if he never told us the story behind it, we would never know that that’s where, where it came from. You know, the writers joke of be nice to me or, you’ll end up in my, in my story and in not a nice way how you can take something that did happen to you in real life and what things you keep and what you get rid of, you certainly don’t want a friend or a family member to recognize themselves in one of your fiction stories, especially if you don’t portray them in the best of lights, which you probably might not because you’re using some kind of strong emotion to write from. So I think you need to think about, Why are you compelled to write about this story? What is it that, that really sticks with you that you want to share with other people? Is it the plot events? Is it the character growth? Is it the setting?

And then I think if you take that, if you say, okay, this is a crazy story about how these things happened, then you got to figure out what kind of other character that’s not you, maybe that you could put in there that could go through that and to have it make sense.

[00:16:27] Sharon Skinner: yeah. So when I write fiction and when I coach my writers, when they’re struggling to get the, the characters and the emotion on the page, I talk a lot about my theater background and how method acting is a way that actors use to access their own personal emotions in relation to character they’re playing.

So a character who’s had a difficult relationship with someone who they’ve finally been able to forgive. And then that character dies. You know, you have, you have stories like that. Where do you get the emotion for that? Especially if you didn’t directly experience it like that character. Well, we all have those emotions.

We all can find those emotions within ourselves: loss and grief, the ability to forgive and then losing someone again, those are very conflicting emotions, but we all carry them around with us. And if you can get inside your characters and in a way that will allow you to access those emotions that are connected to the types of experiences that they’re going through, that’s going to allow you to get it on the page so much more readily and so much more deeply than just writing it out. And I coach people, if you see yourself writing, he noticed, or he felt, or he smelled or anything that’s sensory, stop drop inside the character and give it to us that way it makes it more accessible for the reader. It puts it close up and it makes it more personal. And we usually get that nice hint of emotion around even a smell, because smells are the sorts of things that will trigger memories and emotions in us.

So I have a question for you. You have, clients who are writing and trying to write middle grade, like I do and young adult. And what are the kinds of pitfalls that they find around this sourced material issue in trying to access that for their stories?

[00:18:52] Christy Yaros: Like I said before, trying to stick too much to well, this is how this happened. And maybe you’re trying to tell this story and fine, we’ve been through things that we want to write about because we want, another kid to see themselves like we are in there but it doesn’t always work. One, you have to know how much distance you personally need from the events that happened. Cause it might not be a happy memory that you’re writing about. It might be a trauma to make sure that you’re not too close to that. And I feel like you have to pick like what the essence is that has to stay like, no matter what, I need to tell about this day on this train, or I need to tell about this character dealing with this kind of situation and, and what else can, can go? What can we forget that happened?

And make it happen in a different way that makes more sense, because when you’re trying to force things in there, our lives don’t necessarily follow a proper story arc, so what can you keep? What can you get rid of And with details, we just don’t need to know, like, they might be fascinating to you, right but they’re not necessarily with all of our writing, we have things that we’re like, well, this is, you know, hysterical, and this is, this is so funny. But like I said, yeah, maybe other people don’t find it funny. Maybe it’s it’s an in joke.

[00:20:17] Sharon Skinner: Yeah. So it’s like Collars and Curses. My, my very teen voiced, YA.

Actually that stems from a true story. No, I, I’m not a shapeshifter and there are a lot of things in there that are not, directly from my life, but the original seed of that story stemmed from me, sitting down, trying to write about a moment in my life. That was really traumatic for me.

And I was writing about it and I got to a point in writing it where I was like, I can’t write this. I don’t want to relive this. This is terrible. It was a terrible moment for me. And I don’t want to do this. And I got up from the computer and I walked away and I paced around the house for quite a bit, because for some reason I was feeling like I needed to write about this.

And then I had this moment where I was well, wait a minute. I’m a fiction writer. I can change the ending. So it happens the way I wish it would have ended instead of the way that it really happened. So out of that came a short story, which then became pretty much the basis of chapter one for that entire book, because I got the seed of a story out of that, but, I really like.

Had trouble getting away from the source material until I realized that I could give myself permission and that’s part of it. We have to be able to give ourselves permission to step away from the truth, step away from the source material and let it become what we need the story to become. But there is a lot of autobiographical information in everything we write in everything I write, there are pieces of me and part of that is because of our personal experience and our emotional expression and our ability to revisit those emotions and use ourselves to look through the lens of our characters in order to get the truth of the emotion, at least on the page.

[00:22:24] Christy Yaros: So, what would you say to writers who, who want to write about something that, really happened ? I have spoken to some writers who are just set on I want to tell this story. This is what happened. This is the way it happened and I’m going to stick with it. Which, then maybe you should be writing memoir and not fiction.

[00:22:43] Sharon Skinner: I was just going to say that that’s exactly what I was going to say.

Well, maybe you’re writing personal narrative or maybe you’re writing memoir and you’re not writing fiction because you’ve got to decide that’s. I mean, that’s key to what we do as coaches is we try and early on, we work with our clients to get them to decide what are you writing? What’s the genre that you’re writing?

So I’m going to push this back on you because you’re coaching somebody, it sounds like who’s going through this. And so what kinds of tools are you giving them and what kinds of coaching are you giving them to help them through this?

[00:23:24] Christy Yaros: Actually, it was somebody who came to me that wanted to work with me and through our discovery call and our conversation, that’s when I realized that this person is trying to fictionalize something that actually happened to somebody else that they know in a way that it wasn’t going to work for what they were trying to do.

And and honestly she wasn’t ready to work with me yet, so I wasn’t going to waste her time or her money. Cause there were some things that she kind of needed to think through first. But in, that sense, what I was thinking was you’re trying to tell the story of this girl that happened during this time period in history, in this place.

And it was too hard because it’s someone else’s story, right? It’s not yours, you didn’t actually live it. But so what I would say is try, like, what can you change? You know, can you, does it have to happen in the past? Can, can something like that happen now, is there another event that’s happened more recently or something?

This was kind of a refugee fleeing war story while there’s plenty of that going on right now so could you make that a modern story? Could it be an older kid, could it be a younger kid? Could it be a boy instead of a girl? Could it take place in a different country? Like how can you force yourself to push some of it out of the way so that you can tell a fictional story, if you’re trying to tell a fictional story.

[00:24:51] Sharon Skinner: Yeah. And that’s the other piece to this? Is that how much source material are you going to use in something and how much are you going to make up or pull from other sources?

In order to tell a really rich story. And also whose story is it to tell, if it’s a real life person there are some ramifications that you have to consider, if it’s not your story, but that person is alive. Do you have the permission to tell their story? Because if you don’t, then you truly need to get some more distance from that source material.

You really do need to change who that character is. It changed that the timing, if you will, or the historical setting. Contemporary setting, whatever it is, because if it may not be your story to tell, and that’s, that’s a whole other aspect of what we do, we may not think we’re very interesting. And so we may want to tell someone else’s story.

And I think that’s why I tell a lot of fictional stories because I find that my characters are much more interesting to hang out with and follow around and write about than I think I am. And yet there’s a lot of autobiographical elements in my stories. So it’s not that I’m completely boring.

We’re not none of us completely boring. We’re very interesting people, but the stories that we’ve lived day-to-day may or may not be all that exciting. And for me, because I write fantasy, I like a really exciting fun, fictional story. But to your point, when you you’re telling someone else’s story, and there was a conversation that I was part of recently where another coach was talking about an author who in that space where they want to tell this real life story, but they don’t want to change names and they don’t want to change places because it they’re telling this very real life story, but they’re fictionalizing it too. And that’s kind of cake and eat it too. Isn’t it?

[00:27:05] Christy Yaros: Yeah. I mean, why does it have to take place where it’s taking place? Why can’t you move it? Certainly I can write about my town. I’m not going to call it my town. It’s going to be some non-existent place in, Connecticut.

It’s going to be somewhere in New York where I grew up. But, but also if you’re trying to write about someone else’s stuff, how are you getting into their, their head and their heart enough? Story is only meaningful because, because of the meaning that is attached from the character, the character’s experience of going through it.

So if it’s just, oh, this person went through this crazy ordeal and they survived, like, what is interesting about that? And how do you know exactly what that person was feeling and how they got to that? I mean, there’s many different ways to go through an awful experience and survive.

Do you survive it and be cynical? Are you depressed? Are you triumphant? So I don’t know. It’s, it’s tough. It’s tough. I mean, even when you want to write the story of your heart, we all have something that, that at some point, like this is a story we’re going to have to write that compels us, but how much of it do you keep and how much of it do you change? And certainly, I have come up against this when I tried to write a very personal story too early on when I was not emotionally distant enough from it and also just not really craft skilled enough to deal, to deal with the telling of it.

So what do you change? If it’s something that happened because of your mom do change it to your dad? Can you tell that story? Right? Do you change, do you tell it from the perspective of someone else in that situation, if you’re writing about two best friends who, who break up, maybe you tell the story from the best friend’s perspective and not from your perspective.

You know, what, how can you get in there? How can you make it more interesting? What are people going to get out of it?

[00:29:00] Sharon Skinner: Well, and even if you’re writing memoir, you run into the issue of no matter how flattering you think you’re presenting somebody. They may not see themselves as being presented in a flattering manner.

Also, if you’re telling a story and it’s a family story and your siblings don’t remember it the way you do there can be repercussions because there can be a lot of emotional stuff around family.

Or even if you’re telling a personal story and it’s about you, but there are other real people who were in that story and they don’t like the way that they’re reflected in the story.

That can be problematic too. Not only problematic emotionally and relationship wise, but there can be ramifications or very real life consequences.

[00:29:52] Christy Yaros: Well, you have to do it the way that mark Twain did it. And you write all the crap you want to write and say all the things you want to say about all the people and then stipulate that it cannot be published until a hundred years after your death so that all those people are gone. And you said what you wanted to.

[00:30:07] Sharon Skinner: Right, right. Anyway, so yeah, so I think, I think it is a struggle. I was thinking about source material before we had this conversation. I was picturing Admiral Ackbar from star wars saying it’s a trap. Right. And because it can be, but it can also be so rich and fertile and provide so much content for us to draw from. So it’s, it’s one of those things that it’s got a lot of push-pull to it. And it’s, it’s not easy sometimes to extricate yourself from it, whether it’s a real life experience or history that you’re trying to speak to in a way that’s sensible and that other historians aren’t going to come after you with pitchforks, or if it’s a memoir and a personal experience, it’s very difficult to get the distance that we need, the personal distance, the emotional distance from it. As you pointed out earlier, to make sure that number one, We’re telling the true story that needs to be told, that we’re speaking to the point that you’re trying to make it’s sometimes hard to filter out what needs to be in there and what doesn’t need to be in there. And how we tell the story in a meaningful way is all part of that.

[00:31:50] Christy Yaros: Yes. And we can combine things. I mean, there’s, there’s no reason why, if you want to tell about one of your friends that you can’t make that a teacher with the same qualities or, you know, take things from different people and put it together.

And they’ll never, no one will ever know who that actually was. I mean, we steal all the time writers steal and we lie. That’s what we do. Right. Spectacular liars and unapologetic thieves.

[00:32:22] Sharon Skinner: It’s true. I mean, the, the small town in one of my books is based on the town where I grew up, but I renamed it. I changed some streets and I added a community college because I needed it to feel Podunk, but not be completely tiny. So I embellished, we embellish. That’s what it is.

[00:32:42] Christy Yaros: Well, I mean, you need to change what you need to change in order to tell the story that you’re trying to tell. And nobody’s going to know, even if you think you’re writing about a true story, unless you say based on a true story, or this is nonfiction, nobody’s going to know that that’s what you’re doing. So you don’t have to adhere to anything.

[00:32:59] Sharon Skinner: You’re absolutely right. Nobody’s going to know, except for you, what, you’ve drawn from reality or what you’ve drawn from source material I mean, really reality is just our perceptions in the moment. And how accurate is that to begin with? We talk about the truth of a situation, but it’s our truth. It’s our personal truth. And again, it goes back to the way I remember it isn’t necessarily the way someone else remembers it. I like to think that there’s a great deal of veracity in my memory.

And yet I know better. I know that I experienced in a personal way. And let’s talk a little bit about this sourcing from our own childhoods. When I go back to source from my childhood, I was all full of myself. I mean, kids are, especially teenagers.

We’re kind of wrapped in our own brains, our own crazy little brains that are doing all the things that brains do at that age to try and figure out who we are. And I was very wrapped up in myself and the way that I was seeing the world, I don’t know how other people were seeing the world. I can go back now and take a stab at that.

I can infer how other people were feeling in the situations at the same time. That’s why I think it’s a really good exercise. When you’re having a little bit of trouble getting a character or a conflict on the page to write it from one character viewpoint and then turn around, get inside the other character and write it from their viewpoint.

And in fact, I’ve had clients who I’ve coached to do that when they’re writing a scene where they’re not quite getting the characters authentically on the page. And even though there’s one viewpoint character, I’ve actually had them try and put the other characters lens on to see what it looks like from that side.

So that the dialogue is what they would actually say, and the, behaviors that character expresses would be what they would do, not how the viewpoint character thinks of them reacting. But how they would really react so that the viewpoint character gets to see that. And because there’s more truth in that I think for the reader than just seeing everything through that one viewpoint character. Cause that gets you back into that, oh, everything’s a bubble around one character, which is fine for certain level of authenticity for especially younger characters, but you also need to have them see how the other characters really are in the world.

[00:35:42] Christy Yaros: And that’s a good point.

[00:35:44] Sharon Skinner: Well, That’s going to be for the day, my action item, because we always try to give our listeners an actionable item.

When you’re writing a scene and it’s from a specific viewpoint character, try stepping back and get inside your other characters and do and say what you think they would say and do in that instance, rather than what you think your viewpoint character would hear or see.

And that is my takeaway actionable item for today, because getting away from source material again is pushing ourselves away from your original experience and getting outside that a little bit.

[00:36:27] Christy Yaros: So now I have to come up with one. Huh? Okay. How about: Take a memory you have from your childhood and write it down, and then go back in and change one of the big three: change the plot, change the setting, or change the point of view of who the story is being told from. And see what you can come up with.

[00:36:51] Sharon Skinner: I like it.

[00:36:53] Christy Yaros: Yeah. Sometimes, like the exercise that you gave, writing the other point of view, sometimes so much easier especially if you’re trying to tell a story, about yourself, it’s so much easier because that person is not you and you can make up everything.

Of course you can make up everything everywhere, but when you feel like you’re telling your own story, it’s hard as we’ve been talking about to get that distance, but when you flip it, it’s like, oh wow, this character, I can tell this story so much easier now.

[00:37:23] Sharon Skinner: Yeah. Yeah, no, I think that’s great.

And, and really all we’re talking about here in both of these exercises is getting some distance between yourself and the source material. Putting a little more distance between either the, the factual historical items or the original fairytale that you’re drawing from or your personal life story. All we’re talking about is finding a way to put some distance between that and the writing so that you can actually tell the story that you need to tell.

I’m going to go back to After the Fall by Dan Santat, the emotional truth, the guts of the story, it’s all there, but it’s not exactly the way it happened.

[00:38:19] Christy Yaros: I think that is a good note to end on.

[00:38:21] Sharon Skinner: Thank you. Well, thank you. I always enjoy our talks and I hope our listeners do too. Thanks everyone for being here and we’ll see you next time.

[00:38:31] Christy Yaros: See ya. Bye.

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