Crisis Writing: Use Your Experience to Fuel Your Fiction
Are you in the grip of an overwhelming personal problem, or caught up in the currents of a worldwide disaster? If you struggle to survive and keep going day after day, if you find it difficult to summon the energy and the will to write, then this book can help.
I'll guide you to write more and write better than ever, by turning harrowing events into potent stories. Harness the power of your emotions, mould your experiences into fiction. You can even put the evil people who harmed you into service as villains. Your observations become the fuel that turns your tales into beacons.
You can use this book as a course of study to enrich your author voice. At the same time, it serves as practical self-therapy, because many of the principles are adapted from CBT (cognitive-behavioural therapy).
By looking at events from the perspective of an author instead of a victim, you will gain wisdom and serenity. Reframe bad experiences as story material, and manipulate events on paper. This will put you in control instead of being controlled. You don't need psychotherapy or counselling to feel better: you just need to write.
I'll show you how, in 30 lessons with assignments. For some of the exercises, you can work on the short story or novel you've already started, while others will be useful for future works. I suggest you do them all, perhaps one every day if this suits your schedule.
In April 2020, when bushfires devoured homes and habitats, the Covid-19 pandemic killed many and deprived others of their livelihood, racial hatred raged and violent riots erupted, many of my fans and social media followers lived in isolation, stress, poverty and fear. I decided to help by offering to teach a free-of-charge online writing workshop - one designed to alleviate the emotional strain at the same time as giving the students advanced fiction writing skills. The update was phenomenal, and the participants loved it. Many reported that they felt better equipped to cope with the disaster, and that their fiction had soared to a new level.
As the pandemic extended, bringing with it lockdowns, political strife and financial hardship, I decided to turn the course into a book for the Writer's Craft series. The contributions of the original students have been invaluable for this. I widened the scope, so it's no longer just about coping with Covid-19, but about responding to whatever crisis you are going through.
This guide is suitable for fictioneers at all levels, whether you're a beginner just starting out with story writing, or a professional author with many books under your belt.
Get ready to boost your writing and help yourself to feel good. I'll be your guide on this journey of discovery.