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Your Creative Writing Masterclass: Featuring Austen, Chekhov, Dickens, Hemingway, Nabokov, Vonnegut, and more than 100 contemporary and classic authors - Advice from the best on writing successful novels, screenplays and short stories by Jurgen Wolff

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2Memories and fears

What were the most significant events of your childhood? Do you find yourself drawing on them, directly or indirectly, in your writing? Many writers do. Willa Cather claimed:

Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.

F Scott Fitzgerald gave it a bit longer:

A writer can spin on about his adventures after thirty, after forty, after fifty, but the criteria by which these adventures are weighed and valued are irrevocably settled at the age of twenty-five.

The theme of much of Fitzgerald’s work was rooted in his own youth:

That was always my experience—a poor boy in a rich town; a poor boy in a rich boy’s school; a poor boy in a rich man’s club at Princeton… However, I have never been ...

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