Tag Archives: stories

Writing to Give Shape to Our Lives

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

zz slavinBy Nancy Slavin

“I write because writing helps bring life into clearer focus and give shape to what I might otherwise experience as disconnected shards.”  – Joyce Thomas

I read the Joyce Thomas quote above in a 2011 issue of Poets & Writers and practically hummed out loud in my attraction to it. The urge to write for me is a primordial need to make sense of experiences that often happen in pieces. The way I make sense of the pieces is by creating the story, which hopefully turns out whole. Certainly in the case my daughter’s birth, the pieces of a fifty-four hour labor are disconnected, fragmenting more and more with each passing year, making me wonder which pieces are important enough to keep? And yet, long as the labor was and as bloody the outcome, I don’t use warfare metaphors to discuss that birth or write about my…

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Tension and Conflict. What’s the Difference?

KRISTINA STANLEY

Tension and conflict will keep your reader engaged in every scene. Knowing the difference and when to use each will drive your story forward.

Tension

Tension is the threat of something bad happening. This creates suspense.

Tension can be subtle or in-your-face.

Subtle Tension: Imagine one character is hiding a secret that could destroy his life and another character is about to accidentally spill the secret. The reader will feel the tension if you’ve set up the scene so that the reader knows the second character can’t keep a secret.

In-your-face Tension: A woman is thrown off a boat at sea. The tension comes if the reader cares about the character and wants her to survive. Or the tension could be she’s an evil woman who is about to destroy the world, and the reader doesn’t want her to survive.


Conflict

Conflict is the fight that is actually happening. A…

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Connecting the Chapters of Our Lives – Guest Post by, Cynthia Reyes…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

(Or: The glue that holds your Memoir together)

Licence to use obtained – Copyright: gmm2000 / 123RF Stock Photo

Not everyone writes their memoir in a chronological order. Often, we write as we remember. But once we’ve written some or all of the chapters of our lives, we find ourselves with a puzzle. What we have is a bunch of stories without a main thread tying them together into one journey.

How to put some order on the disorder? Make a single narrative out of the wonderful chaos of our memories?

Here are 6 tips to help you transform what you’ve written into one story — the powerful story of your remarkable life.

1: My first suggestion: Leave it, then Re-read it. This time, you’re looking for the theme/s and progression of your story. Try this process:

  1. Put the manuscript aside; leave it alone for some days.
  2. Now reread,

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Abuse victims. Writing their truth.

Julie Mariner

img_3446Back in 2015 Brandon O’Neill wrote a blog for The Spectator chronicling the case of pianist James Rhodes and his victory in court overturning a legal injunction which was preventing him from publishing his child abuse memoir. It is a particularly harrowing account of sexual abuse which leaves little to the imagination.

Not only does O’Neill negate Rhodes’ ‘pornographic detail of abuse’ as he so eloquently puts it but he further goes on to question why we need ‘misery memoirs’ in the first place. The purpose of his article is to beg the question ‘Why can’t the past stay private?’ Writing for the Telegraph back in 2008, Sam Leith again highlighted why we have a need for this kind of memoir with the attention grabbing headline ‘Misery memoirs make pornography of personal pain.

In 2006, 11 of the top 100 best selling English paperbacks were ‘mis lit’ as its so…

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Struggle is universal. People love reading stories about people triumphing over obstacles, overcoming bad circumstances and abuse, and redeeming themselves. We watch them in movies and read them in books. And you don’t have to look far to find suffering and loss in the human experience. Lots of people have amazing stories, and unfortunately those stories aren’t always pleasant. If you’re writing a memoir, or thinking about it, then perhaps you’ve got some difficult stories to tell, too.

How to Write a Memoir About a Painful Experience: 6 Tips