Give Life to a Book about Life

“I am currently writing a book about my life experiences how do i give it life i currently have the bones (dates facts) but feel that it’s just a series of events how do i make it into a story? Thank you”
lostgirl82

Hi Lostgirl82

Have you thought about writing it in the present tense in first person? If it’s something you experienced, then you should be able to write about what you were thinking at key points, how you felt, what was going on around you, etc.

Honestly, everyone has their own writing style, and you can certainly do it however you want, but in terms of writing about life experiences, this is one of the best ways: “So I’m here in the woods with my friends at the camp site. It’s beyond cold out as we sit on the snow-covered ground on the side of Mt. Jefferson. The chills running down my spine are like little needles jabbing me in the back as I begin to wonder how much more of this I can take. It’s at this moment that my friend hands me his bottle of Jim Bean, telling me it would keep me warm as they get the fire going. I take a sip. The hard liquid makes my throat clench and burns on the way down, but at least I don’t feel as cold anymore.”

Now I know that there are a lot of people who don’t want to name names and don’t feel comfortable doing something like this. So really your other option is to create a ‘you’ character and have that character deal with the same experiences. Granted, this would mean turning a work of non-fiction into fiction, but a lot of people prefer it this way.
Either way, be sure to add description and comparisons. Make people feel like they’re there with you. Describe your feelings at different times. The example of what the chills felt like is powerful because it’s something most people have felt at one time or another. Don’t be afraid to expand a little bit too.

There is no rule against adding a little fluff or interpretation to your writing. Put in how you think the people around you are feeling about the interactions you have with them. Once it’s done, be sure to reread it a few times and make sure that it makes sense to you. Remember, it’s not hard facts that people fall in love with when it comes to reading, it’s usually emotion.

I hope this helps.

Readers, what advice to you have to give? Is there anything you would recommend she do to give her story more life?


Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me. jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.
I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance. Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side! -Jim

Give Life to a Book about Life

“I am currently writing a book about my life experiences how do i give it life i currently have the bones (dates facts) but feel that it’s just a series of events how do i make it into a story? Thank you”
lostgirl82

Hi Lostgirl82

Have you thought about writing it in the present tense in first person? If it’s something you experienced, then you should be able to write about what you were thinking at key points, how you felt, what was going on around you, etc.

Honestly, everyone has their own writing style, and you can certainly do it however you want, but in terms of writing about life experiences, this is one of the best ways: “So I’m here in the woods with my friends at the camp site. It’s beyond cold out as we sit on the snow-covered ground on the side of Mt. Jefferson. The chills running down my spine are like little needles jabbing me in the back as I begin to wonder how much more of this I can take. It’s at this moment that my friend hands me his bottle of Jim Bean, telling me it would keep me warm as they get the fire going. I take a sip. The hard liquid makes my throat clench and burns on the way down, but at least I don’t feel as cold anymore.”

Now I know that there are a lot of people who don’t want to name names and don’t feel comfortable doing something like this. So really your other option is to create a ‘you’ character and have that character deal with the same experiences. Granted, this would mean turning a work of non-fiction into fiction, but a lot of people prefer it this way.
Either way, be sure to add description and comparisons. Make people feel like they’re there with you. Describe your feelings at different times. The example of what the chills felt like is powerful because it’s something most people have felt at one time or another. Don’t be afraid to expand a little bit too.

There is no rule against adding a little fluff or interpretation to your writing. Put in how you think the people around you are feeling about the interactions you have with them. Once it’s done, be sure to reread it a few times and make sure that it makes sense to you. Remember, it’s not hard facts that people fall in love with when it comes to reading, it’s usually emotion.

I hope this helps.

Readers, what advice to you have to give? Is there anything you would recommend she do to give her story more life?


Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me. jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.
I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance. Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side! -Jim

Too Many Sequels?

“Hi Jim,

So I’ve been writing this book series for a few years now and have always gone the indie route publishing. I have about 8 books in the series, all of which have sold well, however everyone is telling me that I should move on and write something new instead of sticking with the same world and characters. Are they right? Should I abandon what I’m working on?

Thanks much,
Mike.”

Hi Mike,

Good question… so I’ve had people say the same thing to me before, but they were more saying that I should abandon the fantasy genre all together and write something… I’m quoting here… ‘people would actually read.’
Honestly, had anyone but this person said that to me, I’d probably be in jail for assault ;)… well probably not, but I wouldn’t have been happy. However this person is just unusually blunt to the point where they put you down without even knowing or intending to.
But I digress… Mike, do you have a solid reader base? Do you want to keep writing these characters? Are you enjoying it? If the answer is yes, then why is this even a question? Suffer the naysayers only as much as you have to. If your books are selling well, people enjoy reading them, and you enjoy writing them, I don’t see what the problem is. Keep on writing my friend! Keeping an audience hooked for 8 books is pretty impressive.
That said, I still think that everyone should breach their comfort zone at some point. Sooner or later, you’re going to get inspired to write new characters and a new story. When that happens, I really think you should pick up that torch and try it out, see where it goes. Who knows, you may have the same success, but for the time being, go ahead and keep writing.

Hope this helps!
What does everyone think? Should Mike stop and write something else or continue?


Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Writing Motivation

“how do we keep motivated on writing? I used to write, then stopped for months, then im starting again, bt how do i keep being motivated? 🙂 would really appreciate the advice :D”
-Senra

Hi Senra,

Great question. Motivation is very important in writing, if you’re not motivated to write and you just keep writing to finish what you’re working on and ‘just get it over with’ it reflects in what you’re writing. Readers pick up on a lot more than we often suspect… and in most cases, would prefer.

A lot of people have different ideas on how to keep yourself going and honestly, usually if you’re inspired to write, you’ve already got your motivation. If the ideas are flowing, putting them on paper should not feel like a chore. So many of them will give you different writing exercises, different things to do on the side while writing, and while those may work, they’re not what I recommend.

Personally Senra, I would say that if you’re not motivated to write, given what I said above, put your pen down, now. I’m not kidding, unless you’re under a strict dead-line from a publisher, there is no reason for you to keep writing. You’re not doing yourself or your readers any favors by writing when not inspired or motivated. It’s okay to put your pen down. Go do something else.

I would recommend going out and trying something new, something you’ve never done before that you’ve always wanted to. Maybe it’s time to dust off the old bucket list and pick something to cross off. Take some YOU time and go do something wild or out of the ordinary for you.

It may take a few days, or even a few months, but I can guarantee you that the new experience will get the creative juices flowing and absence from writing will make the heart grow fonder for it.

Hope this helps, good luck, and I hope to see what you’ve come up with real soon!

Everyone, do you agree, or do you have another method that Senra can utilize that works for you? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know.


Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

Author’s Advice Pt. 17

Writers, Sequel Bait is a very dangerous move to make, especially if you’re going to end on a down note. I’ve seen many good stories that didn’t fare too well on the market end with all their loose ends untied in anticipation of a sequel. I’ve seen it in movies too.

Now, I understand that you’re confident in your writing and you want a good setup for your next book, and that’s fine… but just know that there is a lot of risk and if you’re book doesn’t do well, an open ending is not going to improve things. It’s actually going to anger many readers or make them anxious.

This is a lesson that I learned very quickly with Magnifica: Tears of the Fallen. I left the ending wide open and got a LOT of angry emails for it. Thankfully, I never intended on leaving it open for too long and by the time the angry emails started, I was already submitting my final draft of Magnifica: Gravestalker for approval, so my readers did not have to wait long to be satiated.

So I’m not saying don’t do it. If you have a strong readership, then your book should be able to survive any onslaught of reader rage, just be sure you know what you’re getting into.


Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!