When it comes to writing your story, it can be a heavy toll, especially if it encompasses pain and struggle. You want to disclose every detail and highlight every emotion you felt and experienced. Now this is good, especially if this is something you decided to do as a way of healing or letting go. But there are a few things you should keep in mind in order to maintain a healthy interest from your audience.
It’s okay to have some humor.
It can be tough when reflecting on memories that aren’t so happy and were challenging to live through. I definitely experienced this regularly while writing my own book. Yes, there is a lot of pain and tough memories to deal with, but it wasn’t all a journey of misery. There were definitely some good days and I don’t hesitate to include that information. You can and should incorporate that into your writing/book
Remember the balance.
Your story has a certain theme or genre, so of course you have to stick to it in order to make sense to your reading audience. Just be sure not to add too much humor or seriousness or else your audience will be confused. Once you get into the flow of writing the details of your story, you’ll be able to evaluate this balance through your writing and the editing process, which is a step you should not skip. Read it out loud to yourself. Does it make sense? Does it sound engaging? If not, get someone else to look at it or if you have a writing coach, they can probably help as well. Remember, don’t oversaturate, just insert certain moments at the right time. This doesn’t just apply to writing a book. If you’re blogging, course writing, or anything that relates to communicating with an audience, you have to insert moments to keep them engaged with your message.
Remember to keep it human
If reading about the breakdown of a dying branch in the forest down to the molecular levels in a biology textbook is more exciting than your story, there’s a big problem. Like I’ve said before, listing a bunch of events from the day you were born to present day isn’t really telling a story. You’re just going through a list of things that happened to you which is the same as reading a resume or job application. You’re writing a story which requires you to use your voice. Not anyone else’s. Again, this also depends on your reading audience. But if you’re trying to describe emotional moments or build up to certain scenes in your story, the human voice must prevail throughout the story. It never fails, I’ve enjoyed books written by people who tell their story every time because they used their own voice. The honesty was there. They were not top-notch writers or Steven Kings, the were strictly themselves and let you know that without shame or reserve. Be who you are when telling your story. It’s the only way it will make sense to your readers.
Read what others have done
It’s not because you want to copy their work, you just simply want to see what they’ve done. Keep in mind these authors were once where you were, trying to put their story together and didn’t know where to begin. But look at their finished product, visit their website and ask them questions. Many authors are more than happy to share their journey in the story writing process. Many of them will tell you it was something that wouldn’t leave them alone and they had to let it out on pen and paper. Of course there are different reasons and origins of a story being written. Just be sure to remember yours and pace yourself accordingly. It could be a book of poetry, a particular experience, or a fictional story based on what happened to you or someone you know. As long as you start writing and keep working at it, you’re on the right (or should I say write) path!
So the pen and paper route is not for you. That’s fine. It hasn’t been the route for a lot of successful writers. That’s where tape recorders, Google Voice or scribes come in – to transform the voice into a story. Once it’s on paper, don’t avoid reading those drafts. Connect with what has been written and make sure it’s your voice on paper and it’s saying exactly what you want it to say.
I want to laugh and cry when reading your book. Now go write!