…..You in the story
Are you in what you write? Tough question but there is no easy answer. Let me rephrase the question. Can you see or put yourself in what you read? This one is easier to do.
Experience has shown that it is easier for a person to see herself in what she reads than in what she writes. It takes great skills for any person to reflect her person and nature in her writing and speaking. How can you be in what you write? It is possible. Your writing reflects your thoughts, personality, beliefs, experiences, interests, vision, mission and more. The tone, slant, emotions, passion, examples, experiences, pace, and voice of your writing actually show who you are.
If you are visible in your storytelling, a reader should be able to know who you are by reading the stories you write or tell (fiction and non fiction) though not necessarily stories about yourself. If you are true to yourself and you are in what you write, any person reading your story/book should be able to know you. If you do this, you or your story will enter the readers’ life easily. And when that happens, the storyteller has created an emotional connection with the reader.
I tried to do this in my first book. Read some excerpts from the book titled, I Want a Husband, and see if you can find out anything about me.
1. “This book has been written within the context of living and working in Nigeria…I have kept the language simple, conversational, motivational and in the first person. It is deliberate to keep you up-beat and make you believe in yourself …Besides, there is humour in it to ease tension, make you believe in your self and be in a lighter mood.”
2. “We shall begin the journey from the simple concepts of marriage marketing, examine the dynamics of this market, and move into how to discover yourself, discuss your 3M and show you how to swim through the dark waters of the marriage red sea without sinking to reach your husband.”
3. This is your desire. I know it and I want to help you accomplish it. The key words here are self-discovery, marketing and action.”
From this excerpt, you may guess that I make people laugh and charge them to perform, and I have a passion for self-discovery and marketing. When a storyteller reveals her nature and characteristics in her story, it shows and evokes positive feelings in the reader. If not, there is no connection. The essence of a story is to connect with the reader and pass on information, knowledge, skill or emotions in a most natural way.
What this means is that you may not truly connect with the reader who cannot know you or feel you after reading your story. As a storyteller, you make more impact if your reader knows who you are. This is what I call, The Story behind the Story. Put yourself in your stories. It makes you real and enables you connect with the reader very easily.
There is a story behind your story. There is also a story behind the storyteller. I guess you know it. There is also a story why a storyteller writes in a particular way, style, tone or genre.
Why? Storytellers have their own good measure of personal or professional conflicts, emotions, frustrations, obstacles, failures and triumphs. But you may not see much of these in what they write except in their biographies or autobiographies.
Eric Okeke is a storyteller, editor, business writer, motivational speaker and author of the best selling book: I Want a Husband. He is one of Nigeria’s most experienced financial journalists. He has published several articles in local and foreign publications and in websites such as http://www.ezinearticles.com, www.ezinearticles.com and www.writingcareer.com. He is currently running Infomedia Company, a media consulting and information marketing company. Visit his blog at http://sallywantsahusband.blogspot.com