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 […]
The Memoir Writer’s Blog is a collection of stories, articles about writing, guest blog posts and more.
Don’t devalue your characters by using cliches and stereotypes. This will undermine the unique and personal feel of your memoir. Cliches and stereotypes place people in categories. As short-hand ways of writing and speaking, they reflect ready-made thoughts and adversely affect the ways we relate to our families and friends as unique individuals.
Nothing can rightly be called a first unless there is a second. That is why first drafts are called first drafts. A writer must expect to write a second draft, and a third even. No one can sit down and churn out countless pages of prose that don’t need rewriting. Jack Kerouac claimed he did […]
My suitcase was packed and ready for our trip to Syracuse, NY, the day after the wedding ceremony because Albert would have to report to base Monday night. That trip would be the only honeymoon we would have because we were having a World War 2 wedding!
Writers who have written a good portion of their memoir will sometimes begin to wonder if it is time to hire a professional to work with them. At this stage, they may ask me, “What’s the difference between proofreading and editing? And, how do I know which one I need?”
7 Techniques for Finding Your Story Structure In Part 1, we discussed how memoir writers are like sculptors. Today, I will share a few techniques I learned and used to find the story structure for my memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse.
Is first paragraph of a memoir really important? Yes. The first paragraph of a memoir sets the tone. Writers sometimes struggle with how to begin a story and will not write the story until they have the beginning—the first paragraph. This is not a good way to proceed.
Martha Blowen, my partner in life and in work, died on August 18, 2008, from metastasized breast cancer. The following is from collated excerpts of journals we both kept at the time. (Before she passed away, she gave me permission to share her entries.) The manuscript is called My Eye Fell Into the Soup, after […]
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 […]
On my arrival at Jeddah airport, Harold was there to meet me. As it was lunchtime by the time we arrived on site, Harold took me straight to the canteen. As we walked in, I noticed two seated English guys having lunch. On seeing me walk in, one looked up. “Do you have my passport?” […]