Writing a Great Chicken Soup for the Soul Story

storybook.jpgHave you ever wanted to submit a story for the bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books? Or have you submitted one or two, but were never published? Here are some tips from a former Senior Editor of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series on how to improve your Chicken Soup for the Soul story:

Think small. Zero in on a small event. Let’s say you have been diagnosed with a particular illness. Many people send in a story that tells when they got the news, how they told their family, what treatments and medical procedures they have undergone, and so on. This is too much detail. A good Chicken Soup for the Soul story emphasizes just one pivotal aspect of that journey.

Start the story with action. Ever notice how a good movie or book jumps right into the action? Do the same with your story. Make readers want to read more!

Use dialogue. What words were spoken? Make readers feel as if they are actually in the scene with you.

Insert emotion. What were you feeling during this event? A good Chicken Soup for the Soul story induces tears, laughter, goose bumps—or all three!

Tell a story. Chicken Soup for the Soul submissions should read like short stories, not essays, lectures, eulogies, or political statements. They should have a beginning, middle, and end.

Close with a punch. Bring the story full circle to resolve the conflict or provide a satisfying ending.

Have a moral. What did you learn from this event? What can readers take away from this? Inspire your readers.

Ready to try your hand at writing a good Chicken Soup for the Soul story? Story guidelines can be found on the Chicken Soup for the Soul web site at www.chickensoup.com. A list of upcoming books is included. There’s sure to be an upcoming book that’s perfect for your special story.

See Susan M. Heim’s blog at http://www.susanheim.blogspot.com