There is a right and wrong way to write about suffering and pain. Stories that are full of bitterness are generally not as helpful as those where the author has come to terms with the problem.
What Type of Painful Experience can be Written?
Any type of trauma or painful experience can be written about. Here are some common ones to think about:
- Premature death of a spouse
- Death of a child
- Serious injury
- Serious illness
- War experiences
- Sexual abuse
- Other forms of abuse
- Moving country
- Loss through natural disasters such as earthquakes and tornados
Analyze the Pain
The pain needs to be understood to write about it clearly. Write an outline of what happened before, during and after the event to gain a better understanding. Then break it down into manageable sections to write about. This process can stretch into months or even years but is important.
Why Write About Painful Experiences
Writing is a cathartic experience and the finished product will have the potential to reach others in similar circumstances. Readers identifying with pain can find hope and encouragement in their own situation by reading a story with a victorious ending. Bear this in mind when putting the story together.
Possible Markets for Traumatic Stories
Newspapers, magazines and books are all possible markets for stories of pain. A relatively short-lived event such as a car accident or a near drowning will be more suitable for magazines and newspapers whereas years of abuse as a child would be more suited to book form.
What to Include in the Story
Introduce the story by presenting some background; where it took place, when it happened, who was involved and what led up to it. If desired, a prologue may be included which could present a dramatic snippet of the drama to capture the reader’s attention. The main body of the story should deal with the pain as it unfolded. The conclusion needs to tie up the story and should reveal the final outcome of the event.
Readers Like Good Endings
Don’t end the story on a morbid or defeated note. If there hasn’t been personal growth as a result of the painful experience or clear evidence of victory over circumstances, the story is probably not ready to be written. Keep writing and as the pain is overcome, add chapters until the story is complete.
Writing about painful experiences can be a healing process in itself. The words can then be passed on to friends, family and strangers to bring hope, encouragement, healing and understanding.