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Part III: Bringing Your Story to Life > Summary: The Nine Rs of Refining Storie...

Chapter 15. Summary: The Nine Rs of Refining Stories

  1. Relate the familiar.

  2. Remember the specific. Stretch your mind by remembering something concrete: a first (first day of school, first speech), a favorite (your favorite pair of shoes, a favorite pen), a fabulous (a fabulous dessert, a fabulous day with a friend).

  3. (W)rite, without worrying about spelling, punctuation, grammar, or making sense. Start with the phrase, “I remember...” Keep writing for at least 10 minutes. Try to add concrete details. Do not expect greatness. Have fun pouring out words.

  4. Read back and feed back to a friend or aloud to yourself. Notice what you like about the piece. No criticism, please! This is a time for appreciation.

  5. Rework through coaching. Let a friend tell you the highlights of your story. If you are working alone, mark the strong points. Look for a beginning, middle, and ending.

  6. Rewind and go through the process again, rewriting, making the story stronger.

  7. Relate by practicing the story on different people.

  8. Revise, adding elements of humor, emotion, dialogue, and surprise, making sure the characters are strong and the focus clear.

  9. Rejoice! You have created a story that you can tell and share.


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