Telling Your Own Story: Expressing the Emotional “Why” Behind Your Book

by Barbara McNichol

Many thanks to Janice Campbell for inviting me and Andrea Beaulieu as guests on Nov 17 teleclass. If you’d like a quick review, here are point-form highlights. Or feel free to contact me for editing and Andrea for presentation coaching on how to tell your story from the page and from the stage.

Five Reasons to Tell Stories

(1) To ensure what you have to say rings true universally—and that happens when you’re able to craft your story from a deeper place in your being, and

(2) To get the opposite of calm—you add peaks and valleys, waves and storms into the writing so the manuscript isn’t boring!

(3) To connect us as human beings — our common experience. Stories of the way we work together, or live together. Things we experience together, whether that’s dealing something big like dealing with an illness, or celebratory like having a baby.

(4) To communicate our values — this is what matters to me. How we made a difference in someone’s life, walking 15 miles in the snow to get to school.

(5) To share a message, make a point — the moral of the story. Stories that provide hope or encouragement, you can do it — not giving up on a goal.

Story Sparkers

If you’re stuck on coming up with a great idea for a personal story, ask yourself these questions first:

Why did you write that very book you wrote or the one you’re writing now?

What gives you a sense of satisfaction about the book and its subject matter? I

What inspires you every day?

What do you feel most proud of as you wrote this book?

How do you know or imagine your book making a positive difference in someone else’s life

What is a treasured moment you carry in your pocket right now that could be turned in a meaningful story?

 Have you ever been badly hurt?

Have you ever been scared?

Have you ever laughed so hard you fell out of your chair, or peed your pants?

How did you learn to swim?

Did you ever play a practical joke? Have you ever had one played on you?

Have you ever done something you are proud of?

Have you ever been to a dangerous area?

When were you in a lot of trouble?

Who do you think of when I say, that person just drives me nuts! Why?

Elements of the Story Arc

  • Set the scene 
  • Describe the characters
  • Describe what happens/climax/series of events
  • Resolve the problem
  • Make a point that can apply to reader/listener

 Let us know if this teleclass and these points are helpful. How we can assist you in commiting to tell your own stories in a meaningful, engaging, inspirational way?