James Marsters, who we all know as Spike from ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and ‘Angel,’ gave insight into Joss Whedon’s writing process, which turns out is pretty good advice for aspiring writers and creators.

Marsters recently made an appearance at Wizard World in Las Vegas where he spoke with Buffy fan Doug Elfman of the ‘Las Vegas Review-Journal.’ In the interview, Marsters shared how Whedon got the best out of his writing staff.

The writers from ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ are some of the best in the industry, and Marsters certainly agrees. Under the tutelage of Whedon, these writers churned out some of television’s best episodes.

Whedon’s secret? Making it personal.

“Joss asked the writers to come up with their worst day, the day they regret, the day that keeps them up at night, the day that they hurt somebody without a good reason, or the day they were publicly humiliated. And then slap fangs on top of that, and tell the world about their pain. And this was every single time.”

By incorporating personal experiences, Marsters extols the Buffy writers saying, “They were being very brave every single week.”

“It’s basically Buffy having one bad day after another, trying to grow up, trying to become an adult. So he was asking for the real stuff from those writers, like, ‘Don’t just be interesting, tell me something you do not want to tell me.’”

It seems almost fruitless for me to reiterate that using your own experience can make for a great story, piece of art or whatever it is you want to create. However, seeing that it’s worked for Whedon, it’s good to have a reminder.

Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal