Non-events belong in memoir writing. I witnessed one recently while having coffee in a restaurant. A man and a 14- or 15-year-old boy whom I took to be his son walked in together and ordered. At first they were both silent, and then the boy began to speak. He spoke quite a bit. I couldn’t […]
Everyone should work on improving your writing. Find tips and theories about improving your craft.
How to write feelings into your memoir is a rather important topic. Recently on the Forum, David wrote about not accessing the feeling side of his memories, of writing a memoir that, if I am understanding him right, was all details and facts. Below is my response which can serve as a stand alone article, […]
Too many manuscripts come to an editor at a stage that reflects the I’m-ready-to-have-this-writing-over-with-finally stance of tired writers. Writing can be a long and tedious task after the initial rush of creativity and enthusiasm.
I do not write a memoir from an outline. Instead I create a Memory List as outlined in Chapter 2 of Turning Memories Into Memoirs. The Memory List helps you to follow the promptings of the unconscious rather than the dictates of the conscious mind as is the case with an outline. (An outline is […]
Action drives your story and keeps your readers interested. Writing with effective action is a key to creating lifestories that people want to read. 1) The action of your memoir is its plot. Generally speaking, something must happen in your story to retain the interest of your reader. Some people have had roles in the […]
Writing Your First Draft Give yourself permission to write a rough first draft. Write pages and pages in which you describe the who, the what, the where and the when of the story. Later, as you rework the piece, the why will be written in.
The people in your story are your characters. It is your job to bring vivid literary characters to the attention of your readers. You must use descriptive writing to present believable characters. Without other people, our lives and memoirs risk becoming dull. Although ideas are pivotal for many individuals, relationships are even more commanding. We […]
Understanding “Life’s Failed Contracts” is necessary for going deeper in a memoir. This post is about going deeper in a memoir, deeper even than you thought you could go when you started. This may be hard, but take a look at the contracts with life we make and the terrible disappointment that inevitably comes from […]
Recalling the details of our life stories can be a challenge. Devising a Memory List is the first best thing you can do, but if you want additional ideas, here are five memory recall tips for remembering more than you might have thought possible.
One begins a memoir with a sense of the uniqueness of the story. “It simply has to be told,” you realize excitedly. “The world needs to hear about this.” Then as you write week after week, month after month, and sometimes year after year, that uniqueness sometimes seems to evaporate as you distance yourself from […]