Turning your personal experience into a novel

If you are going to put a real-life experience into a novel, you need to know that it is worth it. Is this memory of yours a profound, meaningful memory that has impacted your life? Have you learned anything from your experience? What does this mean to you? You need to verify with yourself that this is a big enough part of your life that it needs to be put on paper and shown to readers everywhere.

When putting an experience into a novel, you will need to spend a lot of time discussing what actually happened. You may want to ask other people who were involved in your experience for their points of view. You need to get all of your facts and opinions straight and clear. Write down in a notebook what you think happened, what was most significant, what the good and bad parts of your experience were. You need to set yourself up for writing this very carefully because you are not making up the story.

When putting a personal experience into a novel, you need to decide whether to put it in first person or third person. Here are some advantages:

First person:
* Allows you to write the way you would talk about the experience. You can use words like “I”, and “what I thought at the time”

*You cannot say what other characters were thinking or what else was happening at the time that you did not know about.

Third Person:
*Allows you to give a description made up of many character’s points of view. Allows you to explain what was happening at the time that you did not know about.

*You may get a funny feeling when writing your own name instead of “I”. You may not use phrases like “I said” when using the third person.

Whichever one you choose, make sure you use it consistently throughout the whole novel. For more information on what point of view to use, see my other articles at my about me section.

Now, you are ready to start typing your novel. But, a novel is generally at least 300 pages long, and growing. Is your experience lengthy enough to be turned into a novel? Or will you need to dedicate a hundred pages to details and stories about what happened earlier that day? One reason I recommend not to put your experience into a novel is that you did not make it up, and it might not be long enough. A made up story can be as long as the author wishes it to be for he or she has no commitment to the real world and what actually happened.

When you have your experience ready to type and you are sure it is long enough, you will have to do some major time-scaling. How many pages are a minute? You need to know how to lay out your experience across your novel. You cannot give a five page description of your experience, for that is an essay, not a novel. You will need to give enough information about your experience and give the appropriate attention to detail to make that memory into a 300 page novel. This is very tricky, and it is where most people will give up even trying to write something.

If you still do not know how to put your experience into a novel, don’t. You may find that you are better off writing about it in an on line blog or journal. Whatever you decide to do, that memory is always inside of your head. Do not think that you have lost the memory if it is not on paper. You will always remember.

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