Rules for Getting the Story Down


1. Write it fast, fix it later.

2. Commit to writing 16 minutes per day or 3 hours per week. If it is easier foryou, commit to writing 3 pages a day.

3. Quality is more important than quantity. If you only get one paragraph donebut it conveys your feelings and paints a picture the reader can see, then it isgood.

4. Write stand-alone anecdotes, stories or chapters. You can connect them laterwith a theme, but if you don't the "pearls" will still have great value.

5. Make sure each piece has a "hook" which brings the reader in, a "middle"which gives the necessary information and the "end" which teaches a moral,makes us laugh or delivers the point. The end is usually tied in with the hook.

6. Don't worry about literary style. Write your story as if you were sitting at thekitchen table swapping tales. Be yourself.

7. Include lots of details. Remember what was going on in society, the family,and the neighborhood as well as physically and emotionally with the peopleinvolved in the story.

8. Remember the five senses. Sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and feel. Help thereader relive the memory with you.

9. Edit out 10%. You will be amazed at how much better it is when you take outthe extra words and phrases. Now edit out another 10%.

10. Let others read it for content, grammar and flow. Listen to their suggestions. If one or two people tell you the same thing it is an opinion, however if 3 ormore tell you it is an observation that you should definitely consider.

11. Don't allow others or yourself to criticize too much. You are your own worstcritic. It doesn't have to be perfect or to please everyone. It just has to bedone. Many generations will be grateful you took the time, energy and risk torecord some small part of history.

12. Re-write or correct passages. Let it sit for a few days and then you may wantto tighten it some more.

13. Include some memorabilia or photos to bring the manuscript to life. You mayfind copies of newspaper articles, letters, cartoons, maps etc. that will addinterest and information.

14. Finish the thing! It will never be completely done but bring it to a logicalconclusion and be able to let it go and start on another project.

You are a writer -never forget it- just keep writing!

If you are interested in getting the answers to these and otherquestions about life story writing, please contact us atjudywright@artichokepress.com and sign up for a tele-classand our FREE e-zine: "The Artichoke" - finding the heart of thestory in the journey of life..

©Judy H. Wright, Personal and Oral Historian - www.artichokepress.com


MORE RESOURCES:
RELATED ARTICLES
Top Ten Tips (Part 1)
The following rules are essential if you want people to take you seriously.Be yourself Know your subjectBe interested Punctuate proudlyRespect the apostropheGet great grammarSpell well Keep to the pointRead and reviseSleep on itPay attention to detailBe yourselfWrite from the heart or the head or the gut, depending upon the type ofwriting you are doing.
Apotheosis - the Seminal Insight of the Hero for Screenwriting
Every hero has a seminal insight - the apotheosis. Once you know what that insight will be, you can start building your story up to and beyond that point:In Casablanca, Rick's insight is that if you love someone, you sacrifice yourself for their happiness.
Inspiring the Poet in You!
Poems. Just the mention of them makes me smile.
Memoir Writing Help, Memoir Writing Ideas
You might not need any memoir writing help, per se, as you know your past and you know quite well how to write, thank you. You might instead just need someone to inspire you, motivate you, give you a nudge--with some memoir writing ideas.
Hey Cient, this is Me! Find Your Writing Voice and Sell Yourself
In a crowded market, clients will be seeking personality as they read what you've written -- they'll click right past pages that feel "been there, read that." They're looking for a voice that says, "Hey, client, this is me!"They want to know not just what you deliver -- but how.
A Series of Articles on Autobiography
ESSAYS ON AUTOBIOGRAPHY: NUMBER 1Preamble:Nearly seven years ago I wrote my first essay on the nature of autobiography. It was some two years after completing my initial draft, the first edition of my own autobiography.
English Grammar - Seven Outdated Rules You Can Ignore
No matter what your fifth-grade English teacher says, some grammar "rules" no longer apply. The style mavens of our day all agree that the ability to communicate clearly and concisely takes precedence over archaic grammar rules.
Freelancing Doesnt Mean Writing For Free. Does it?
Writer's forums are bustling with debate over whether or not a writer should send something out for free. Some people feel that writing for free weakens the market for other writers, while some people feel that writing is an art that should be shared freely.
Pairs/Groups Of Words Often Confused - Part 1 of 6
ACCEPT, EXCEPTNot commonly seen even from unpublished writers, who are probably familiar with the difference because they're all waiting for an acceptance!"We accept your invitation to your party, except for Bill, who will be away on that day."ADAPT, ADEPT, ADOPTAdapt means to adjust, adept means skilled and adopt means to take as your own:"Some people cannot adapt to new surroundings.
Whose Story Is It?
Whenever you sit down to plot a story (or even to think about a story) one of the first things you have to ask yourself is this: "Whose story IS it?"It seems like a simple question - but your story can succeed or fail depending on how you handle this. Told from the wrong point of view, a story can founder before the first chapter has come to an end.
How To Write More Powerful Reports
There is one key difference between reports and most other forms of business writing, and we get a hint of that in the word, "report." Whereas with many other forms of written comms you can be a little creative and put your own slant on your words, in a report you must not.
Is The Theme Running Throughout The Story?
Creative Writing Tips -It's no use coming up with a theme and not using it. Short stories are about a character or characters and about one situation or happening in those characters' lives.
Screenwriting - The Value of Structure
Structure in the form of frameworks, work processes and goals enhances creative output:a) Short term goals (incremental productivity) produce more output than a "do your best" approach. Writing four pages a day completes a words-on-paper first draft screenplay in one month.
How to Have an Effective Writing Group
The works you've written are numerous, ranging from short stories to even the novel, hidden in a storage bin (under the bed) collecting dust. But there comes a time when you must wipe away that dust, regain your pride, and prepare your babies for publication! But, how do you get such a critical, unbiased eye to analyze your works, offering both praise and criticism?It's simple-start a writing group!Creating a writing group is the easy part, but creating a functioning and beneficial writing group can be quite a task.
6 Ways to Leverage Technical Articles
Technology vendors often contribute bylined articles to trade journals. The articles are great exposure for these companies but they don't come cheap - the trades rarely pay for these articles but the vendors spend time and resources to assign pieces, write them, approve them and submit them.
What you Dont Know About Book Publishing Can Cost You
Dream that your book can be a number one best seller? Read books or visit Web sites that say they have your answers? -- All you need to do is get their program, follow their advice, and the world is yours. Or, you think I'll write it, but someone else can market and promote it.
8 Ways to Write a Winner Book Fast!
Have you given up on getting your book out of your heart intothe hands of your readers? Don't give up. There's an easy way todo anything and a more difficult way.
Story Building with Imagination
In the words of Aristotle, "happiness is self contentedness helping to make children deeply and quietly glad that they are who they are, and gives them a priceless legacy: the strength to meet life's stresses and the courage to become committed, responsible, productive, creative, and fully human adults..
Mixing and Mingling: The Door to Publication?
Mixing and mingling with industry professionals is an opportunity that you should NEVER let slip by. Here are some tips from my own experience to help you make the most of your conference:1.
How to Get Free Publicity in In-flight Magazines
If you're targeting an educated, more affluent audience with your message, and your topic is a good fit, in-flight magazines can be one of your best publicity tools.A quick look at the statistics should convince you:--Many of these magazines have high circulations.

Home | Articles Site Map