During 2013, dozens of talented writers are joining me to cheer you on in your storytelling. These guest-writers will share a few helpful words with you right here every Tuesday night, to encourage you as you #TellHisStory. (Come back after midnight Wednesday to link up your God Story by clicking here. From now through Easter, we’re considering “The Lenten Journey,” though you are free to share ANY story that God lays on your heart.)
And now, I’m delighted to introduce you to my new friend, author Nancy B. Kennedy. (Bonus: We’re giving away FIVE copies of her newly released book, Miracles & Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories from Moms.)
If you’re like me, you had a “good girl” upbringing. We good girls never rock the boat. We put people at ease. We don’t let our emotions get out of hand, lest we make someone squirm. We skirt around the tough stuff. We don’t ask deeply personal questions or bring up anything that might cause grief.
In order to write emotionally powerful stories, I have had to shed this good girl trait. Whether I am writing a personal story or ghostwriting someone else’s story, I have learned that it is okay to dwell in the uncomfortable moment, to pause and say, “Let’s stay here. I can see this is meaningful for you. Please tell me more.” It’s okay to let people choke up, to shed tears, to struggle for control—and that’s true whether it’s your interviewee or your reader. Uncover the emotional core of a story and then draw it out with detail, dialog and reflection.
The resource I’ve found most helpful in this regard are the story guidelines for Chicken Soup for the Soul submissions. These story collections are unabashedly emotional with a tried-and-true formula for tapping into readers’ emotions. Goodbye forever, good girl!
~ Nancy B. Kennedy
Nancy B. Kennedy
has enjoyed a career in journalism and has authored six books. Her most recent book is Miracles & Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories from Moms
, the third title in a series of inspirational story collections.
YOUR TURN: Today through Saturday at noon, I am hosting a giveaway of Miracles & Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories from Moms. Nancy is generously giving away FIVE copies of her book. The book includes stories from dozens of funny and inspiring writers you may know, including New York Times-bestselling author Melanie Shankle of The Big Mama Blog, Sophie Hudson of BooMama.net, and Glynnis Whitwer and Lynn Cowell from Proverbs 31 Ministries.
I am also honored to have a story published in this book.
To participate in the book giveaway:
Simply share one (or more) traits that your mother passed on to you, and you will be entered in the giveaway. You can offer simple statements, such as “her sense of humor, ” or “compassion for others.” Or you may share longer stories. I’m eager to read your comments!
(#TellHis Story Writers: You may also feel free to address your writing questions in the comment box, as we typically do for #TellHisStory. Those comments will also be entered in the giveaway.)