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What's Your Story?

Why it is good to write a story based on a true-life experience

By Carol TownendPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
What's Your Story?
Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash

When I first started writing, I wrote alot of stories about fantasy adventures. Many of my ideas were based on things I'd read. I enjoyed fantasy and adventure, it took me out of the real world and into a fantasy world where I could escape reality. As I got older, I wanted more from my reading and writing hobbies, so I read many books based on true life experiences. In my life-time, alot has happened to me and my family. Child abuse, domestic violence, mental illness, homelessness and other forms of violence. I started writing journals, though out of anger, hurt and upset, I deleted those journals. I regret that today, because my life experiences can help others through a journey that was horrific for me. I needed an idea, so I could recreate those journals, however, many of my notes were lost along the way. I came up with an idea, what if I could rewrite my true-life story using fictional characters? I obviously couldn't use the real names of the people who abused me in my story, because that would cause more problems. I came up with my continuing story 'Carrie and Love.'

My book started quite some time ago, but it is quite a complicated story to write. It is based on my experiences of mental health and love, and the main characters in my book, Carrie and Julian fall in love, but it is complicated by mental health and past problems including shame and embarrassment, stigma from friends, family and professionals, and feelings of guilt and waryness from both characters. These are also many difficulties that I faced in my own relationships, left by the tormenting feelings and hauntings from my past. Carrie and Julian have to work through these issues, while battling stigmatising perceptions from other people including many professionals. I am intending to write my story as a three part trilogy. One of these in which Carrie and Julian get married and have children, they face many struggles as parents, and at times it becomes stormy and worries develop around the children's welfare. Some of these worries surround the parents arguing and feeling unable to parent at times. They both go through financial, housing and emotional hardships, though they are good with the children. In this battle, they have incidents often mispercieved as purposeful events, and they feel as though no-body is listening to them as the people helping them often see things as they wish, but not as they are for Carrie and Julian. This is also based on true life events. The story gets very deep, but it is supposed to, because it reflects the realities that couples with children and mental health problems often face in their most serious circumstances, and it shows how ignorance can lead to more dangerous events as the story plays out. At the end of it, things turn out both positive and negative for both Carrie and Julian.

Writing stories around your own story can be a good thing. It can change the way things are in the world, and it can help people see how easily important events can be missed, and how mishandling those can have serious consequences. Realism is an important thing, however, realism is featured in most books, especially in terms of scenery like every day streets, shops, rivers and events. Realism in a true to life story needs emotion and needs to center around life events, as close to life as possible. When writing a book based on true-life events such as mental health, some of that focus needs to be on stigma, past events, the mental health itself and how that can affect the day-to-day life of the people involved. You can't write a true-life story around mental health, without talking about the stigma and difficulties that people in these situations are faced with, not just in their community, but with professionals too, because in reality, that happens.

Writing is a form of expression, but for me, it is also a way of expressing difficult situations and how they are dealt with in the world. Writing these kinds of stories, helps to send out messages, and it can have an effect on changing situations, which in return, also makes people think. This has the impact of letting others see things as they really are, and showing how difficult things can be where they cannot be seen.

I hope after reading this article, many of you will think about writing about your story. Your story, like mine, could help to change things in ways that enable professionals to change how they help people, and give more understanding to those people in situations where they need help, but feel unable to get it. A true-life story can help to save a life.

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About the Creator

Carol Townend

Fiction, Horror, Sex, Love, Mental Health, Children's fiction and more. You'll find many stories in my profile. I don't believe in sticking with one Niche! I write, but I also read a lot too.

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    Carol TownendWritten by Carol Townend

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