Your personal experience story must have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Many manuscripts that cross my desk don’t! You must present a problem, show conflict, and come to a resolution. Write the beginning and the end before you go back and fill in the middle. You may change some things as you go along, but you must have a game plan.
In the first paragraph of your story, you must hook the reader. Open with an exciting beginning that makes the reader want to read on. Open with the viewpoint character. Write your story as seen from one person’s viewpoint. Paint a brief picture of your main character. Show their personality. Make your readers see the characters and identify with them.
The best plumb line to use when writing the personal experience story is Guideposts, the top-selling Christian magazine with a readership of over eight million, including places it is donated such as the armed services. Guideposts considers itself a practical guide for successful living. It shows that God is with you, that He cares for you through your everyday experiences. Guideposts has contributing editors who are Jewish and Catholic too. Its purpose is to revitalize people’s faith. I suggest you check out their website and use Guideposts as a guide for other Christian publications that accept first person, personal experience stories. In the secular market, Readers Digest is the plumb line.