It seemed appropriate to end the “What’s -?- Story?” posts with one aimed at actually writing one.
Maybe you’d like to tell your story, be it in a short post or a long book, or something in between. But you’re not quite sure where to begin.
First, give some thought as to who’ll read your story: your audience. Family and/or friends? Your blog, social media, and/or website followers? The public? Do you want the story to be narrated by yourself or would you like to present it as a tale of fiction?
** Determine your audience. Decide how to relate your story. **
Next, pick up a pen or sit at the keyboard, an audio recorder, or a combination thereof, and start. Record what you’d like your story to entail, what to share and how to communicate it. Is there a message? Do you have something you’d like people to learn about or from? Are there life lessons? Or maybe you’d simply like to entertain?
** Start by summarizing your story/life into three-four sentences. That’s your focus, your description . . . your blurb, as it were. **
Do an outline and don’t worry about the flow; you can determine how it should progress (timeline/timeframe) later and delete and rearrange accordingly. In terms of incidents and events, and memories, you can always consult with family members and friends. Their remembrances may vary and that’s a good thing—it’s called perspective. Maybe you have some journals/diaries stuffed in drawers? They’ll help tweak memories. Old photos? Use them, if only to fine-tune recollections.
** Write down critical/essential junctures (two, five, ten, twenty) in your life that are crucial to your story. They’ll help shape the narrative. Whether you use them all is ultimately up to you. **
If your story leans toward heartrending or sad, or tragic, you may want to add a few happy or cheering moments/events. I don’t know about you, but I’m a “sobber”, a multi-tissue-box kinda gal. It’s tough on the eyes and nose to always be bawling and blowing. Prompting a laugh or two—even a smile—is a welcome break.
** Give thought to what you’re sharing and why. Maybe it’s a personal purge. Nothing wrong with that. Maybe lessons you learned would help others. That’s noble. Contemplate how tragic/emotional/funny/life-changing the story should be . . . how much you want—and are willing—to reveal. **
This post could easily go on for several pages or be divided into a few. There’s a lot of “advice” to be provided re outline steps, narrative, writing “rules”, and the list goes on (and on). Perhaps I’ll do that at some point but, for today, I just wanted to provide some food-for-thought ideas re you getting started on your [amazing] story.
[Looking forward to reading it!]