Getting Personal

by juliusmsanz

What I’m about to write might not be a shocking revelation, but many writers forget that this plays a key role in readership and subsequent sales, if you’re selling what you’re writing.

Writing is all about getting personal.

But it’s not about just telling your personal experiences or thoughts in the shape of a fictitious tale of mystery or a romance, no; it’s much more than that.

A while back I wrote a novella that shared plenty of my personal experiences and views of the world, in terms of tunning my personal feelings I think I couldn’t go any deeper than that. It was a sad tale, featuring plenty of philosophical notions masked inside the narrative. I laid my soul bare. The pages told everything I felt about plenty of things. Looking back I realize that was a bit of a mistake, writing is a personal thing, sure, but should not reflect just yourself.

Ask yourself this question: why should anybody care about what I’m writing?

That’s the core question. Is the plot interesting? Are the characters realistic? Sure, that matters. But what matters the most is how the reader will feel about the work. The readers are also the critics and can slam you down if they feel it doesn’t connect to them.

You have to make sure the readers will feel a personal connection. Not just to the characters or plot, but if the whole concept resonates with them. Let’s take a look at another media: cinema and television. Horror is especially important in this aspect, perhaps the most important. The audience will not feel any fear or disgust if they do not see any factor that inspires any sort of fear in them. But now look at the true great horror movies, like Rosemary’s Baby. They deal with one of the greatest fears a mother can feel: that something might not be quite right with their child. The psychological feel to it is upsetting.

Real horror, terror is the most acurate term here, is the one that makes you check under the bed before getting in and makes you stay awake for a long time, wondering if everything is truly alright.

That’s when you know that the movie is the real deal, and the same goes true for any other type of media.

Evoking a personal connection is the key to success. It’s true that you can’t appeal to everybody and expect the same results, but when you look at major concerns, or expectations, or hopes, or realities, you can find the key themes, the ones that will make you write and write; the ones that readers will remember for a long time.

Get closer to yourself, your feelings, but don’t forget that you won’t be the only one to read your story; I assume you want to get it out there and show it to the world. Relate.

That is all for today my friends, have a great one!