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.