Monday, July 6, 2020

Finding Words for Your Story



I usually write non-fiction. In non-fiction, especially articles for web content, we need to write concisely. That means, we don't add in flowery description. While this blog is in first person, articles I sell are never written in first person. Each writing project has its own rules.

Writing Your Story

Recently, I wanted to write my story. What I mean by that is a sort of memoir or creative non-fiction piece that describes a specific time of my life. This sort of writing demands flowery description and can be in first person. 

As often is the case, I want to write it to help others who might read it. But another benefit arose. While writing my story, I found healing and better understanding. I thought most of the wounds of that part of my life had been healed, but it was remarkable how writing my story out in detail brought me more clarity and healing. 

Adding Description

They say if you're going to write your story, you need to make it gripping. You do that by showing rather than telling much of it. You do it by adding meaningful description. 

I'm not good at writing such detail. The non-fiction writer in me finds it tedious. But I may want to self-publish my story on Kindle, so I need it to be all it can be. 

A tool I found which helped me put words to my feelings is a website called Descriptionari. This website is remarkable. You simply type in a word and it gives examples of compelling writing using your word or emotion. 

I used this site to teach me how to add touch, scent, emotion, and description. (I don't recommend copying the sentences into your story, but to use their examples as prompts. Then you can put it into your own words.) 

A remarkable thing happened using this tool. The descriptions described my pain in words I could not find. And in doing so, I found more healing

For example, during that time I cried a lot out of confusion, disappointment, and sadness. Instead of simply saying "I cried" I put cry into the tool. Look at this sentence it came up with:

"It is my tears that keep my soul alive in the furnace of this pain. They cannot extinguish what has been, yet only carry me forward until a time comes when that searing pain is distant enough to forget more than remember, and maybe one day erase itself from my brain. So perhaps it may be an oddity to thank my tears and be proud to cry, yet if that's what saves me from becoming a monster, a person indifferent to suffering and sorrow, then crying is the smartest thing I can do." https://www.descriptionari.com/quotes/crying/ 

The words above make me believe the writer knows what I went through. In that sentence, I find I was not weak, strange, pitiful, or odd for crying as I did. I was simply human. It was helpful to see the purpose in crying. 






Finding Words for Your Story

I usually write non-fiction. In non-fiction, especially articles for web content, we need to write concisely. That means, we don'...