Co-Writer Personal Stories

Hello everyone,

I am new at writing so forgive if this is a Duh type of question. When you are co-writing a book, how do you handle it when you want to tell a personal experience story. This is a non-fiction book and throughout we are using first person plural. But what do you do when it comes to telling a personal experience?
Is there an industry norm for this?


The method I’ve most commonly seen is something like:

Or else set off as direct speech, something like:

The first version probably works better with shorter anecdotes, the second version with longer ones. For the second version, I’d definitely suggest using distinctive formatting for the quoted text.

A third approach, suitable for an even longer first person narration, would be to simply put it in its own first person chapter, headed “GS’ Story” or similar.

First person is generally more intimate than third. Whether that’s desirable of course depends on the content.


I’ve only one addition to make to Katherine’s advice. In the early chapter in which you set out your stall - tell your readers why you’re writing the book, what it will say in general terms and what its structure will be - I’d introduce the idea that one or both of you will separately be narrating personal stories at points in the narrative, and roughly where this will happen and, again in general terms, why. As a reader, I would expect to be “warmed up” to the idea in this way.

Great advice!

Thank you both for taking time to answer. Wow. This site is not just about a piece of software. It’s a writer’s forum. I love it!