Your Life as Story

September 7, 2018



Sometimes real life experiences are more exciting than anything you could dream up in fiction. 


That's right. Your life, your experiences, your memories can provide dozens of stories that others want to read. Think about the success of book series like Chicken Soup for the Soul. People love good stories. When those stories are actually real, it can leave an even greater impact with the reader.


I'm not talking about writing an essay about what you did over summer vacation. We've all written those type of assignments for school. Unless you had an amazing adventure that will impact you for the rest of your life, put your summer vacation stories to the side. Dig deeper. Think about moments in your life that changed everything. Moments when you knew life would never be the same again. Those moments could be decisions you made where you knew there was no going back. They could be moments when you learned something shocking or surprising that changed the way you saw your life or others. It could be something that happened to you that you couldn't control. Think about those life-changing moments. 


As writers, we use our personal experiences to inspire everything that we write. But what makes us good writers is how we take that experience and put it in words that will make others feel the emotion of the experience. Writing about real life is not, and should not be, boring. Bring what you know about writing fiction to life! Create the setting. Dig deep into your character (in this case, yourself). Build tension in taking the reader through the events. Include believable dialogue that puts the reader right there where you were. 


Our writing paints a picture, whether fiction or non-fiction. Your personal, real-life story can create as big as impact as anything you write that is not real. In fact, it may even have a greater impact BECAUSE it is real. 

WRITING PROMPT: Think about that moment, that experience where everything in your life changed. It doesn't have to be huge. In fact, sometimes the small moments can be just as insightful. Think about how you will build your character, setting, dialogue, action, and scenes like you would in a fictional story. Write a draft. Edit it. Polish it. Make it shine.




Photo Source: Gift Habeshaw on




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CAROLYN BENNET FRAISER is a published writer and creative writing instructor in Brevard, North Carolina, where she enjoys helping youth find their passion for writing. 

Carolyn is available to speak to children and youth about creative writing at your school or special event. 

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@ 2019 CAROLYN BENNETT FRAISER. All Rights Reserved.