Writing Outside the Box
By Anne Hart
Here Are 50 Strategies on How to Write A Life Story as a Play
Write in short paragraphs and short sentences.
1. Contact anyone’s family members to gain permission to write their family member’s memorials, if these people or their descendants are available.
2. Write memoirs of various clerical or other religious or social leaders.
3. Write two to four dozen memorials for houses of worship. Put these memorials in a larger book of memoirs for various organizations, religious groups, houses of worship, or professional associations.
4. Find a model for your biographies.
5. These could be based on a book of vocational biographies or centered on any other aspect of life such as religious or community service as well as vocations.
6. Read the various awards biographies written and presented for well-known people.
7. Focus on the accomplishments that stand out of these people or of you if you’re writing an autobiography.
8. Use oral eulogies as your foundation. You’ll find many oral eulogies that were used in memorial services.
9. Consult professionals who conduct memorial services to look at their eulogies written for a variety of people and presented at memorial services.
10. Stick to the length of a eulogy. You’ll find the average eulogy runs about 1,500 to 1,800 words. That’ is what’s known as magazine article average length. Most magazines ask for feature articles of about 1,500 words. So your
eulogies should run that same length.
11. When read aloud, they make up the eulogy part of a memorial service. At 250 to 300 words double-spaced per page, it comes to about five-to-seven pages and is read aloud in about seven to 10 minutes.
12. Take each 1,500-1,800 word eulogy and focus on the highlights, significant events, and turning points. Cut the eulogy down to one page of printed magazine-style format.
13. Keep the eulogy typeset so that it all fits on one page of printed material in 12 point font.
14. You can package one-page eulogies for memorial services or include a small photo on the page if space permits.
15. Cut the eulogy down to 50-70 words, average 60 words for an oral presentation using PowerPoint software for a computer-based slide show complete with photos.
16. Put the PowerPoint show on a CD or DVD. Use the shorter eulogy focusing on significant points in the person’s life. The purpose of a PowerPoint eulogy is to show the person lived a purposeful life—a design-driven, goal-driven life
with purpose and concrete meaning in relation to others.
17. Write biographies, memoirs, and autobiographies by focusing on the highlights of someone’s life or your own life story. Turn personal histories into life stories that you can launch in the media. You need to make a life story salable.
It is already valuable.
18. Read autobiographies in print. Compare the autobiographies written by ghostwriters to those written by the authors of autobiographies who write about their own experiences.
19. Read biographies and compare them to autobiographies written by ghost writers and those written as diary novels in first person or as genre novels in first person. Biographies are written in third person.
20. If you write a biography in third person keep objective. If you write an autobiography
in first person you can be subjective or objective if you bring in other characters and present all sides of the story equally.
21. If you’re writing a biography, whose memories are you using? If you write an autobiography, you can rely on your own memory. Writing in the third person means research verifying facts and fact-checking your resources for credibility. How reliable is the information?
22. Use oral history transcriptions, personal history, videos, audio tapes, and interviews for a biography. You can use the same for an autobiography by checking for all sides of the story with people involved in the life story—
either biography or autobiography.
23. With personal histories and oral histories, be sure to obtain letters of permission and to note what is authorized. Celebrities in the public eye are written about with unauthorized or authorized biographies. However, people in private
life who are not celebrities may not want their name or photo in anyone’s book. Make sure everything you have is in writing in regard to permissions and what information is permitted to be put into your book or
article, especially working with people who are not celebrities and those who are.
24. When interviewing, get written approval of what was said on tape. Let the person see the questions beforehand to be able to have time to recall an answer with accuracy regarding facts and dates or times of various events.
Give peoples’ memories a chance to recall memories before the interview.
25. Write autobiographies in the first person in genre or diary format. You can also dramatize the autobiography in a play or skit first and then flesh it out into novel format. Another alternative is to focus only on the highlights, events, and turning points in various stages of life.
26. Ghost-written autobiographies usually are written in the first person. A ghost-writer may have a byline such as “as told to” or “with____(name of ghostwriter).”
27. Condense experience in small chunks or paragraphs. Use the time-capsule approach. Use vignettes. Focus on how people solved problems or obtained results or reached a goal. Find out whether the person wants you to mention
a life purpose. Emphasize how the person overcame challenges or obstacles.
28. In an autobiography, instead of dumping your pain on others because it may be therapeutic for you, try to be objective and focus on what you learned from your choices and decisions and how what you learned transformed your
life. Be inspirational and nurturing to the reader. Tell how you learned, what you learned, how you rose above your problems, and how you transcended the trouble. Focus on commitment and your relationship to others and what
your purpose is in writing the autobiography.
29. Stay objective. Focus on turning points, highlights, and significant events and their relationship to how you learned from your mistakes or choices and rose above the trouble. Decide what your life purpose is and what points you
want to emphasize. If you want to hide facts, decide why and what good it will do the reader. Stay away from angry writing and focus instead on depth and analysis.
30. Don’t use humor if it puts someone down, including you. Don’t put someone down to pick yourself up.
31. Make sure your writing doesn’t sound like self-worship or ego soothing. Don’t be modest, but don’t shock readers either.
32. Before you write your salable autobiography, find out where the market is and who will buy it. If there is no market, use print-on-demand publishing and select a title most likely to be commercial or help market your book. At
least you can give copies to friends and family members. Or self-publish with a printer. Another way to go is to self-publish using print-on-demand software yourself. Then distribute via advertising or the Internet and your Web
33. You’d be surprised at how many people would be interested in your life story if it were packaged, designed, and promoted. So launch your life story in the media before you publish. Write your life story as a novel or play or both.
Every life story has value. I believe all life stories are salable. The hard part is finding the correct niche market for your experiences. So focus on what you are and what you did so people with similar interests, hobbies, or occupations
may learn from you. Market to people who are in the same situation as you are.
34. Divide your biography into the 12 stages of life. Then pare down those 12 significant events or turning points and rites of passage into four quarters—age birth to 25 (young adult), age 26-50 (mature adult), age 51-75 (creative
adult) and age 76-100 (golden years of self fulfillment).
35. Start with a vignette focusing on each of the most important events and turning points of your life. Do the same in a biography, only writing in third person.
For your own life story, write in first person.
36. What’s important for the reader to know about your life in relation to social history and the dates in time? For example, what did you do during the various wars?
37. Keep a journal or diary, and record events as they happen. Focus on how you relate to social history. Write in your diary each day. Use the web and create a diary or web blog (blog).
38. If you keep a daily journal, and make sure it is saved on a computer disk or similar electronic diary, you can put the whole journal together and create a book or play online or have a digital recording of your life. It’s your time capsule
in virtual reality.
39. A daily journal will keep memories fresh in your mind when you cut down to significant events for a book. You want to recall significant events in detail with resources.
40. If you’re young, keep a daily journal on a computer disk and keep transferring it from one technology to the next as technology evolves. Keep a spare saved and up on the Web so you can download it anytime. Use some of the
free Web site space available to people online.
41. If you write a book when you’re older, at least you’ll have all the youthful memories in detail where you can transfer the notes from one computer to another or upload from your disk to a browser for publication with a print-on-
42. Keep writing short vignettes. Include all the details as soon as possible after the event occurs. When you are ready to write a book, you’ll be able to look back rationally and from a much more objective and mature perspective on
the details. Then you can decide what to put into a salable life story that’s about to be published.
43. Don’t listen to people who tell you that if you are not famous, your life story is only fit for your own family because no one else will buy it. Look for a fresh angle on the topic as it applies to anyone's stages of life (universal values).
44. There are events that happened to you or experiences in your line of work travel, parenting, research, or lifestyle that people want to read because you have experiences to share.
45. Find a niche market of people with similar interests and market your life story to them.
46. Try out the waters first with a short vignette in magazines. If the magazines buy your vignette, your slice of life story, then you can write a book. Can you imagine if all the travelers and archaeologists, parenting experts and teachers
didn’t value their life story to the point that they thought it was fit only for relatives (who may be the only ones not interested in reading it because they already know your life story). In fact, your relatives may be angry at you for
spilling the details to the public.
47. Instead, focus on that part of your life where you made a choice or decision with which everyone can identify. Inspire and motivate readers. If your experience is universal, we can all identify with it. We all go through the same
stages of life.
48. So let us know how you overcame your obstacles, solved problems, and rose above the keen competition.
49. Or if you didn’t, let us know how you learned to live with and enjoy your life.
Readers want nourishment. If your life isn’t about making a difference in the
world, then write about how you handled what we all go through.
50. We want to read about the joy of life, and your design-driven life full of purpose, meaning, and inspiration. We want to read about the universal in you with which we can identify. Most of all readers want information in a life story or personal history from which we can make our own choices. Keep your life story as a novel to 12 to 24 short chapters. Write in short, readable chunks.
About the Book
Professional creativity-enhancing writing strategies, techniques, and writing samples for clarity, closure, and commitment. Writing to help others, for health, resilience and confidence.
This content covers active versus flat writing, creating moods, textures, tones, body languages, gestures, behaviors, imagery, and tag lines, for numerous areas of professional creative writing, including fiction, non-fiction, technical writing iterations and applications, personal history, creative genealogy writing, reporting, and script writing for education/training or entertainment.
Writing Outside the Box also discusses genres such as historical, romance, time-travel, mystery, suspense, mainstream, and writing children's books, using your original poems, song lyrics, or expanding popular proverbs into stories or books, gift books, and publishing your own books and booklets, including writing, formatting, and publishing shorter romance novels and stories.
You'll learn about how to write corporate case histories, interview people to write personal and family history life story highlights and experiences, create time capsules, adapt scripts or plays into novels, write short stories, and learn more about uses of poetry as therapy in careers.
You'll also learn possibilities for the writer in residence in business or education, and writing scripts for various events from ancient-themed weddings and celebrations to writing for wide panorama of applications from news releases and business to fiction with conviction.
This book also contains links to the author's video on how to be a personal historian and also the author's audio talk on what to expect from careers and strategies for technical writing, and other links to various resources for writers, editors, publishers, and interviewers.
Whether you write fiction, nonfiction, genre and mainstream or historical novels, stories, scripts, plays, or personal history and genealogy, you'll learn how to write stories or novels or adapt plays and scripts to novels and vice versa, using the push-and-pull odd and even chapters of a 24- chapter novel.
The technique shows how to use 12 pull chapters and 12 pull chapters, which also can be done with 8 pull and 8 push chapters of a 16-chapter romance or suspense novel. With even chapters in any genre or mainstream novel, half of the chapters create tension and half of the chapters bring people together. This works well in a wide variety of novels, not only romance, but also historical or thrillers.
Learn how to write corporate success stories and news releases or how to adapt and expand or reduce your fiction writing to fit your market, whether it's family history and time capsules, market-sized niche books, stories, romance and your romance genres, historical time-travel, writing audio or stage plays, or scripting those ancient-themed events.
This book focuses on enhancing your creativity, persistence in writing, and thinking outside the box in the niche-markets. You'll learn how to write for the changing content creation industries, digital or print content arenas, conventional and unconventional markets for writing, publishing by and helping others learn to write with clarity and brevity what markets will buy, and how to research what readers/viewers want.
The book also opens your ideas to learn more about what's happening in the fields of creative writing as therapy for de-stressing, and for finding inner peace within the various expressive arts therapies. Do you write poetry, personal history, memoirs, multimedia, radio or stage plays, or movie scripts? Write to sell? Write to teach/train, or report research news? Writing for your own closure, commitment, or simplicity?
Writing for people who think outside the box can help expand and adapt your roads to numerous niche and conventional publishing worlds where both multimedia and print stages open new platforms of expertise with which to connect.