by Nancy Casey
A story can be just about anything that you tell someone else or yourself. A story from your life? That can be just about anything, too.
Some stories are about the past. They might begin with “Once…” or “I remember when…”
A story about the future might begin “Someday…” or “Tomorrow…” or even, “I would like it if…”
A story that centers on a place could start out, “This is the place where…”
Some stories begin with action. They start out by telling what you or someone else was, is, or will be doing.
A lot of stories have a high drama—confrontation, danger, tragedy, scary and overwhelming stuff.
Even more stories are kind of boring, or they might seem that way. If you tell the story of a time when nothing happened, it will turn out interesting somehow anyway.
Today in your writing, tell a story from your life. Any story, as long as it fits on a single page. Think about the huge range of big and little stories you have to choose from as you set up your page.
Draw a line at the top where the title will go. (Don’t decide on a title until the end, though.) Leave aside some room for illustration.
Draw a tiny dot in the very middle of the page.
(If you can’t think of a story right away, start by describing something near you or an object that you remember. Anything. Make some comments about it. Some kind of a story will begin to latch onto it…)
Regardless of how your story unrolls from your pen, when you arrive at the dot in the middle of the page, stop for a minute. Reread what you’ve written so far. Think about what’s left to tell in the story and notice how much space you have left.
You might need to squeeze or stretch your story to get it to fit on the page. That’s okay, even if it changes the story from the one you started with. Can you bring the story to a close so that the very last word that fits on the page is also the last word of the story?
Read over the whole story and draw or doodle on the page while you think about it. See if you can coax a good title into your mind.
Write the title at the top of the page. Write the date on the page, too, along with a signature or your initials.
Here is an example of what someone could write.
You can share your work by posting it as a comment below. You can type it in, or take a photo of it and upload the image.
Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. It’s not possible to have an in-person Write-For-You class at the Recovery Center at this time, but if you are interested in writing coaching, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.