Writing Prompt Story Starter: Share Your Story


Shutterstock / marekuliasz © share your story

For my story starter this week, I chose the accompanying “Share Your Story” image.

Writing can be a deeply personal experience; sharing your thoughts and feelings on the page is no easy task. Yet, it can be a rewarding experience, too. On the Fiction team, we never tire of saying to each other, “Oh, how I enjoyed reading that story.”

Story writing doesn’t have to be deeply profound to make an impact. It’s about entertaining others. I always think the stories that make the most impact are the ones that resonate just that bit more with the writer.

I asked the talented Alison Carter how she knows she has written a good story, and she said, “If it’s an emotional story, I cry. That often happens as I write the final paragraph. If I cry, you and the team always like the story.”

I like what Alison said – it’s writing from the heart. And that sort of writing demands the reader’s attention.

“I find myself writing very, very fast . . .”

Alison went on to say, “I find myself writing very, very fast as the story goes on. So fast that I can’t type to keep up with what’s in my brain. Once a writer hits that point, there is no way the story can really go wrong. It’s made itself into a whole piece that only needs a check and edit.”

As a final piece of advice, Alison shared what she and ex-Fiction Editor Shirley Blair used to suggest at “Friend” writing workshops.

“At the end of the story, I sit back with a little sigh – Shirley and I used to do this physically to show students what they’re aiming for. I ‘become’ the reader, gaining satisfaction from the humour, the surprise or the joy. That’s a sure-fire sign.”

Writers who have etched a little of their hearts into stories are often duly rewarded.

The Fiction team and I look forward to seeing how you share your story.

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one aspiring tip to new writers is to “write from your imagination”.