The People Opposing Women Abuse have developed a writers guide which you can download to develop and help you with your writing skills. Below is a small sample from the guide to writing.
Working definition of story
Generally a story is an account or a detailed telling of an occurrence, or a series of linked events, that can either be an anecdote (i.e. an actual occurrence) or fictional (an invented tale).
Different types of story
The world of story is broad, and vast and endless, like an ocean, and is made up of varied titbits of every form and shape, each with its own qualities and uses, all of which are potential stories.
The diagram below is a visual representation of just some of the different kinds of stories that there are in the world, all of which exist as a garden that anyone wanting to write can harvest and develop into stories.
Please download the guide here for a more detailed breakdown.
The importance of stories
Beyond their ability to entertain, inform, and teach us new things, one of the most important factors about stories lies in their ability to help us make meaning of the world around us.
For any one person to arrive at the meaning of something requires that they should have asked themselves how that particular thing is related or connected to another.
And because meaning is not produced by individuals, but by communities, societies and cultures, who generate it through a shared language, and agreed to understandings of the connections between things and their meanings, stories play an important role in shaping this contract of meaning making.
So that on the whole the meaning of each event is produced by the part it plays in the whole episode, in the stories of their lives.
‘When we tell our stories ‘We create narrative descriptions for ourselves and for others about our own past actions, and we develop storied accounts that give sense to the behaviour of others.’ – Polkinghorne
A few quotations some writers have said about writing:
‘Writing is a series of permissions you give yourself to be expressive in certain ways. To invent. To leap. To fly. To fall. To find your own characteristic way of narrating and insisting; that is, to find your own inner freedom. To be strict without being too selfexcoriating. Not stopping too often to reread. Allowing
yourself, when you dare to think it’s going well (or not too badly), simply to keep rowing along. No waiting for aspiration’s shove..’ – Susan Sontag
‘When I write ‘I’m just trying to look at something without blinking’ – Toni Morrison
‘Book of wisdom, exemplar of mental playfulness, dilator of sympathies, faithful recorder of a real world (not just the commotion inside one head), servant of history, advocate of contrary and defiant emotions . . . writing … can be, should be, most of these things.’ – Susan Sontag
Table of contents (what you will find in the downloadable pdf guide to writing)
Section 1: Stories & Writing – page 8
What is a story? Stories and writing, Different types of story,
forms of story The importance of stories, The stories we tell
ourselves, Different ways of telling stories, what is writing?
What is a writer? Feminist writing, beginning to write, types of
writers, a writers toolkit, crafting stories.
Section 2: Forms of story – page 20
Types of story, Short Stories – developing characters,
setting and context,, developing a plot, writing the
resolution; Personal Essays – Characteristics of a personal
essay, writing the personal essay; Poetry – writing the art
of the unsayable,, characteristics of poetry.
Section 3: Final touch – page 32
All good writing is rewriting: Write a compelling title
Write compelling first lines, Appeal to all the senses,
Colour your writing with figure of speech, Write last
sentences that make a lasting impression.
Section 4: Writing and reading – page 37
The relationship between a writer and a reader, Reading
Section 5: Living to tell tales – page 38
Make writing enjoyable,; Pick up good habits