Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Questions from Readers

Here’s the final question for those of you who want to write about your experiences: Who cares? I’ve alluded to that, but I need to say it stronger.

Unless you show how facing and struggling through your past has changed you and made you a stronger person, don’t try to do it.

In writing the personal narrative, you also need to help readers see themselves in your book. How does your material help them? Why would they spend money for your book?

Another way to say it is to ask, What’s the personal application? How can it help readers in practical ways? They don’t have to have your exact experience (and who would?) but your story has to reach out to them so they can identify with you, the writer.

To illustrate that, a major portion of 90 Minutes in Heaven is about Don’s recovery and his 34 surgeries. A large number of readers have said, “At last, someone understands chronic pain.”

None of them went through the trauma Don faced, but many readers live every day in physical torment or went through long periods of intense physical suffering. We call that reader identification.

1 comment:

  1. Who Cares? is a difficult but necessary question. Thank you for keeping it real Cec. I appreciate your honesty.


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