Write True Stories


Write True Stories and Make Them Lyrical by Deborah Lyn Stanley

A grand way to practice flourishing your stories and word choices is to write true stories. People connect with stories they can relate to. Use your life and your experiences and build the theme of your story around them.

Consider writing about a grade school, junior high and high school or college event; including conflicts and successes. Our earliest memories are a great place to start. Your life gives a plethora of source material! Grandma’s favorite times are worth repeating. Was there a town square decorated for a gathering every holiday? Did you grow up in the city or the country? Where did you travel for vacations? What was your favorite part?

Last night my husband read aloud “Grandmother’s Porch Swing” by Mary A. Morman, a delightful family story of several generations. It has a hometown feel of the early 1900s; a friendly neighborhood willing to sit-a-while and share a glass of lemonade. After he finished the story, the lyrical nature of Mary’s writing struck me, and I decided she must have played a musical instrument. The rhythm, pace, and flow of her descriptions and the setting were refreshing! So much so, that I’ve included some comments here.

As I mentioned last time, writers need to build-up a strong descriptive vocabulary to handle the many aspects of storytelling and article writing. To enhance your next story, give it the sound test, read it out-loud. Does it flow? Does the sound of your words conflict with what you want to convey;  is it confusing? Read classical authors. Read poetry that you relate to, and write scenes from your story’s era. Also, consider how you might write or revise your piece for a more lyrical feel.

Lyrical writing tips:
1.    Patterns of rhythm or meter, cadence, and sentence length of words and strong memorable images,
2.    Alternating short and long sentences,
3.    Its sound when read out-loud—Does it flow? Can you picture what’s read?
4.    Use metaphors related to nature, for example–scent of the wind blowing strong,

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Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available:
& https://books2read.com/b/valuestories

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Karen Cioffi said...

Deborah, thanks for these tips on writing with a lyrical feel. Reading your story aloud is a great way to catch things that don't work. It picks up on poor word choices, rhythm, and more than simply reading a story can't.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Deborah Lynn, , my second book is a book of creative nonfiction. It is out of print but I can probably get a copy of it for you from Amazon's used feature. bit.ly/TrueShortStories for Hearkening. It was published to several rave reviews and, honestly, I did EXACTLY with it what you describe! Thank you. This made me feel so much better at the loss of this book.
Many hugs,
Carolyn Howard-Johnson

deborah lyn said...

Thank you both for your comments! Carolyn, So cool you did as I described!
I'll look for a copy of your book. :)

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

I love the term creative nonfiction. It didn’t catch on for memoir, but that’s really what it is!

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