Do you have a story to tell? Have you had some life experiences that haunt you so much you just need to get them off your chest? Is your story so good that people will pay to read it? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then you need to strike while the iron’s hot. Trouble is, that in today’s P.C. dominated world, just recounting the facts might be more trouble than it’s worth. If you’re looking for an innovative way to tell your story, speak to the reader’s subconscious, and make some money, then this post, detailing some of the advantages of using fiction over fact, could provide some answers to your conundrum.
1) Avoid controversy
I recently had a client that made the headlines a few years back, and I’m talking globally. After being turned down by a few conventional writers with a journalistic background, she asked if I could help write her story. However, she was quick to point out that there might be repercussions for us both. She also said that her story made the headlines for so long that people got sick and tired of it. But her version of events had to be told before she passed away. By using fiction, I made her story into a mystery, dropping subtle clues throughout. No facts were mentioned until page 260 out of 300 was reached. By that time, the protagonist had good reason to do what he did. The facts she wanted to conceal were just a natural plot progression. Hence, possible repercussions were avoided as we could claim events were purely fictitious.
Controversy needn’t be on such a large scale, though. You might have always wondered how your life would be different if you’d made different decisions, got married to someone else. Raking up old ground might cause your nearest and dearest some discomfort. However, using fiction, only you and I would be aware of your feelings. And I’m not telling anyone. Unlike journalistic stories, there’s no need to keep some things concealed.
2) Influence subconsciously
We, in the Western world, like to think that government propaganda is exclusive to ex communist states such as Russia and China. Our governments are just as bad though. The only difference is, they manipulate people subconsciously. Cast your mind back to the 2008 financial melt down. Remember how people reacted angrily to the bankers and the feeling of outrage when the government used tax payers money to bail them out? Ever wondered why this is no longer mentioned? The government decided that by targeting people on benefits, they could both shift the blame and manipulate the headlines. And it still goes on today.
Do me a favour, next time you get chance, watch an episode of EastEnders (produced by a government controlled broadcasting company) and look for all the hidden messages. People use their own experiences to transport themselves into a good story. And once they’re submerged into the story, they’ll remember the hidden messages subconsciously.
Your hidden message could be to ensure future generations treat their parents with respect, for example.
3) Give your story Extra Potency
We’re all aware of the carnage of World War One, and yet the most powerful recounts I’ve experienced are both fictitious. In Birdsong, Sebastian Faulkes starts off in 1914, telling the story of a young officer who falls in love with an older woman. Set by the River Somme, he paints an idyllic picture of a beautiful summertime romance. With this buried in the subconscious, the image of piled up bodies two years later was powerful enough to have a permanent effect.
Also, remember the closing scene of Blackadder Goes Forth, when the characters mingled with the poppies? The fact that it was characters people knew and loved made it extra poignant.
You could use this technique in your story to emphasise changes in people or places over time. Or you could give your message an extra emotional charge.
4) Fulfil an Ambition
Whilst it’s possible that you’ve always wanted you’re lifestory told by a journalist, it’s far more likely that you’ve had an ambition, secret or otherwise, to write a great work of fiction. Think of it as comparing a flowchart with an artist’s portrait. You’ll have something you can be truly proud of. You can cross one more thing off the list of things to do before you die which, if you’re anything like me, will afford great peace of mind.
5) Maximise your readership
I’m not doubting that ghostwriters with background in journalism are skilled at what they do. They’re adept at reporting the facts in a way that your family and friends will find interesting. Keep your memoires tucked away in a drawer and bring them out whenever you have visitors. However, anyone that doesn’t know you from Adam is unlikely to indulge you. Not unless there’s something in it for them. However, fiction is different. Everyone loves a good story. It’s human nature. Publish it in the fiction categories on Amazon and your sales will rocket, especially with some clever marketing. You could end up influencing an entire generation as opposed to just your own family. Also, you’re much more likely to get a financial return.
There are many reasons to tell your story as fiction, ranging from the financial to self fulfilment. Package up your book of 80,000 words or more, publish it to Amazon and you’re away. Get your name in the papers, provide a legacy and unload yourself of things that you’ve carried round for years.
Got anything to add or say about the contents of this post? Is there anything you strongly agree or disagree with? Have your say in the comments. We’re all friends here,so go on, fill your boots.