Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.

― Unknown

This is especially true for writers.  This is what the experts mean when they tell you to “write what you know”.

One of the most difficult tasks a new writer faces is writing for emotional impact.  Difficult on any given day the newbie authors must find the fine line between soap-opera type melodrama and evoking the emotion in their reading audience.

The goal is to have your reader experience the story.  Simply because the character cries, it is not relevant to the readers emotional involvement.  When the story provides an opportunity for example, let’s say suspense, and the reader knows the character is in jeopardy before the character can realize his own situation, then you have an opportunity to reach the goal of engaging your audience.

Books and stories which cause us as an audience to move to the edge of our seats, have our eyes fill up with tears, and truly agonize over what will happen to this poor character who has been through so much, are the stories we all aspire to write.  These characters directly affect your audience and are the characters we root for, and want to see triumph in their quest.

Life experiences which have taught us how a day in our lives can turn on a dime. These are the experiences which we covet to assist in our storytelling.  This is the essence of  “write what you know”.

Remember the day on which you met the love of your life? For me, a horrendous day at the office, without a break for lunch, followed by a panicked and pleading call from a close friend  to meet after work for “just one drink”.

So many years later I can vividly recall how long I spent trying to think of an excuse to get out of the commitment to meet a friend after work. And how I am happy that I didn’t execute the option to bail. Who knew the chance encounter in a bar would lead to so many years of a fun, fast paced, adventurous and fulfilling relationship? But I can remember the attitudes, moods and stresses of that day with incredible clarity.

Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives do provide fodder for story.  Often the good things that happen in our lives assist us on the path to follow and achieve our dreams.