“All fiction is autobiography in disguise.”
When Catherine Ann Jones came to our local conference I found her to be quite inspiring. She taught us that writing takes courage, and it’s not about overcoming fear but continuing in spite of it. Because each person is different, our approach to story will be unique. While there are practical formulas for structuring a story, only you can know the process of sharing your story in a way that works for you. You must find the method that suits you, whether it’s starting with the ending, outlining each scene, or perfecting each scene in sequential order. Know your own rhythm and pace.
You must also know what moves you, what you have an emotional connection to. In her book The Way of Story, Catherine Ann Jones said “Emotions derived from all we have lived and felt passionate about become a rich well which every good writers will draw from,” and “It’s the emotional power of your story that will ultimately determine its success.” She said it’s not what happens in your story, but how what happens affects and changes the main character. Creativity has no boundaries, and bits of your story may come to you in many different ways. Writing a book is a personal journey that comes from within, and when you follow that inspiration, the world will respond.
While Catherine’s keynote sessions, along with her book, were powerful and inspiring, the way of story means nothing to me without my Creator, the One who inspires me with story. My faith in God has been the core of my stories; without Him, I would have nothing. I seek His guidance along my journey, in writing and in life.
My hope is that you would know yourself as well. The better you understand yourself and where you came from, the better your story will be.