How much do you reveal about yourself and your family when writing stories inspired by personal experience? That question faced Mike Archer as he wrote his second collection of short stories, Living with Humans: Stories of Each Other. It’s harder than you think to write about yourself and things that happened to you, even if you change names, locations and circumstances.
Writing about yourself may be cathartic, but how do you make those stories relate to readers? The same way you make any story relate to readers–craft characters, develop plot, make conversations realistic and, if you’re lucky, touch truth in the process.
Mike’s other challenge was shedding thirty years of TV news writing discipline of writing short, punchy copy to write more expansively. Crafting with words isn’t always possible in TV news, but it’s absolutely essential to transport a reader into a short story or novel with detailed descriptions of scenes, people, smells, scenarios and the rest.