Cindy Reed is a writer, speaker, and teacher blogging at the award-winning site The Reedster Speaks, where she writes with humor and clarity about family life, mental illness, progressive politics, and her underwear. Her work has appeared on The Huffington Post, In the Powder Room, Yeah Write, I Just Want to Pee Alone, and WhatToExpect.com. She is a two time recipient of BlogHer’s Voices of the Year award, in the humor and op-ed categories, and has spoken on nonfiction storytelling at WordCamp Asheville and the Boarding Area Conference for travel bloggers. Cindy is a master online teacher and currently teaches the popular online course Storytelling for Bloggers. Now on life’s third chapter, she previously has worked as an academic and an attorney. She lives with her family in Asheville, North Carolina.
WCATL 2015 Session – What’s Your Story? Harnessing the Power of Story to Engage Your Readers
Whether you’re starting a personal blog to share your thoughts and ideas, or blogging to promote your business, storytelling is the most effective way to engage your audience. Recitations of facts or personal journal entries might convey meaning, but stories provide your audience with a relatable entry point into your subject matter. Story inspires, teaches, and stimulates discussion. The well-told story is memorable and unique, positioning you as a trusted voice.
In this presentation, we’ll look at all the elements of creative nonfiction storytelling so you can create the most compelling content for your blog, one 400-600 word post at a time. Using examples from published blog posts, you’ll learn to:
- Identify the Central Conflict in each post: What is your one reason for writing this piece?
- Use Narrative Structure: Begin like a boss, stick a fork in it when it’s over, and conquer the muddle in the middle.
- Make it interesting: Employ the storyteller’s toolkit: Develop setting, character, plot, and dialogue. Use literary devices to make your true stories as readable as fiction.
- Show, Don’t Tell: Avoid telling your readers what to think and feel and illustrating instead, using sensory descriptions and imagery.
- Hone Your Authentic Voice: Discover and trust who you are as a writer.
- Edit and Polish Your Work: Create a checklist to catch errors in grammar, spelling, and proofing.