Monday, October 13, 2008

Choosing Your Story - Part One

Before I start to write a story for Chicken Soup, I go to their site and skim through the possible book titles. Some I can usually rule out immediately. Twins, no … special needs children, no…but then I might come to a few that might work. High School—yup, that’s me. Beaches—me again.

Here’s where the next step begins. Once I pick a book title that I think I might have a story for—I focus on the story itself. So I went to high school—but what was so special about it? What made my days roaming the halls of Sayre High School any different than someone else who went there?

Have you sat down ever and read some Chicken Soup stories? Don’t try writing one until you have. There are a few common threads that run through them. The first thread is what happens when you read one of them. The stories usually touch a nerve—an emotion—a tear duct.

When I first mull over story ideas in my mind—I stop at the one that most makes me feel—something. That’s step one in writing a story for Chicken Soup (in my opinion). I try to pull up a memory that makes me cry, sigh or feel something deeper than a passing comment to a friend might. I try to remember a moment in my life that I would share with my best friend over a cup of hot cocoa after a successful day of shopping.

But this is only the wind-up.

You can’t just write an emotionally packed story—it must relate to more people than just yourself. It has to have a general universal appeal.

Tomorrow, I’ll share more on this aspect as well as how to be sure you create what I call the AHHA factor as well.


Angie Ledbetter said...

Great Soup tips, Terri. Hope your day & week are good.

Janna Qualman said...

Love it, you're so right. Thanks!

Barbara said...

Great tips!

AnooCre8ion said...

Some handy information. Thanks for sharing.


Tracy said...

Thank you so much, for sharing these tips and all of the others that you do. I am so blessed to have found your blog and really apprecaite your willingness to reach out and help others as we work toward our success.

I have a Blog Award for you over at my blog, so stop by when you have a chance! Blessings, friend!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

OK...consider myself "kicked in the pants." There is a treasure trove of info at Chicken Soup. Having your take on it almost makes it manageable. Thanks!


Candy said...

Great tip! This is what I need for what I'm working on right now. Thanks.

Linda said...

Woe is me...I stopped by both Barnes and Noble AND Borders today looking for Chicken Soup For The Soul: Empty Nesters, and neither had it yet! I see they have it on so I guess I'll have to order it from them.