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Write From Your Own Life Experiences

It wasn’t always this way … I stared out trying to escape my life when all of sudden it hit me. Why not sit and write about it? Which was indeed the hardest thing I ever decided to do? You see, I never chose to be a writer; the writing came to me at a very young age, as a form of therapy at a dire time in my life. Unlike so many others who run from their pain, I embraced it and began this thing called writing. Guest column by Suzanne Corso, author of Brooklyn Story, a young woman’s coming of age tale (Simon & Schuster, Dec. 2010). Suzanne is also a screenwriter, stage play and documentary producer.

It wasn’t always this way … I stared out trying to escape my life when all of sudden it hit me. Why not sit and write about it? Which was indeed the hardest thing I ever decided to do? You see, I never chose to be a writer; the writing came to me at a very young age, as a form of therapy at a dire time in my life. Unlike so many others who run from their pain, I embraced it and began this thing called writing.

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Guest column by Suzanne Corso, author of
Brooklyn Story, a young woman’s coming of age
tale (Simon & Schuster, Dec. 2010). Suzanne is
also a screenwriter, stage play and documentary
producer. One such documentary, "Hear Them Roar,"
narrated by Lorraine Bracco, inspired her children’s
book Sammy & Sue™ Go Green Too! (Beaufort
Books, 2009), an environmentally educational
book of a mother/daughter explorer team,
geared for 5 yrs and older. See her website here.
Comment on this post within 1 week, and a
random winner will win a copy of Brooklyn Story.

THE THRILL OF DIVING IN

I dove in head first, not knowing at all what I was doing, and I was able not only to release my anger, sadness, frustration and every emotion under the sun, but I was also able to realize what I love to do more than anything in the world—and that was to write. Who cared about what people would say if my grammar or structure was off? All I cared about was my story and what was on the page, and how I expressed it so that you could actual visualize it, feel it and want to read more.

THE CHALLENGE OF MAKING MY LIFE STORY INTO A NOVEL

So, here was my life journey laid out in front of me, and my biggest task was figuring out: How do I manage to change it all into fiction? It is sometimes harder that you think. We find ourselves being immersed in our own heads and hearts, and then as the words are put onto the page, we reread them and realize it is hard to see the difference. Then you have to go back and change it all. Lying to yourself for living your own life.

Within the pages of my novel Brooklyn Story, much of it is what I went through and everything that I know about Brooklyn and where I grew up. Changing the names and places were the easy parts; getting it out of my head is where it turns a bit difficult. And keeping it a fictional read even though it is somewhat like a reality-based memoir (minus the real names and real to life events).

THE SUCCESS OF WRITING SCENES OUT OF ORDER

I began with the ending then worked and flashbacked through it. I also like happy endings. So finishing the final scenes first it made it a hell of a lot easier to write the hard stuff because I knew once I got to the end it would be fine. I would be fine and my character ... well she would be fine, too. Then I got to the beginning of the novel, and thought it should begin like this: “Some people lived in the real world and others lived in Brooklyn. My name is Samantha Bonti and of course I was one of the chosen. At age fifteen, I was seduced into a life that shattered my innocence, a life that tore at my convictions and my very soul, a life that brought me four years later to the sunlit steps of the courthouse in downtown Brooklyn.” I want readers to want to know what happens next.

Well, what did happen was this: Twenty-one years after that event in my life, someone would buy my story. And it was by far one of the happiest days for me. I took my contracts, ran to church, sat and prayed. I was humbled and honored and in awe all at the same time. I finally took my rightful place in the world as the writer God chose me to be. That is why our dream and our vision and what we say can and does come true. It is yours for the asking. No matter how you write your book, fiction or nonfiction.

THE OPPORTUNITY OF CREATE FROM YOUR LIFE JOURNEY

If I can leave you with anything, I choose to leave you in thought of this. Love your past, no doubt it has made you who are, so tell us and write about. Live your life and enjoy, but really enjoy and write about it. Create your future the way you want it, hold the vision, the universe will respond and write about it within your pages. Write about what you know. Then make it all seem like it is fiction. See how you do, I think I did just great!

Editor's note: Suzanne is excited to give away a free book to one random commenter. Comment within one week; winners must live in Canada/US48 to receive the print book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you've won before. (Update: Random number was 6, and Sophia won.)

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