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.
The Memoir Writer’s Blog is a collection of stories, articles about writing, guest blog posts and more.
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?” […]
Can I write more than one memoir? Once upon a time, people assumed that memoirs were like souls – they were distributed one per customer. If that were true (about memoirs, not souls), then three of the books I’ve published wouldn’t exist. The truth is, each of us plays many different roles in the course […]
As readers of the blog know, I’m not a great fan of writing prompts. Sure, they get you to writing something and many will insist, “Writing something is better than writing nothing…” Well I’m not so sure of that. Writing should matter. It’s hard work, and life is short. What’s better than nothing about writing […]
When I begin memoir editing with clients, I tell them that a proper editing requires three “read-throughs.” It is impossible to give a manuscript all the attention it deserves in one reading. Reading a manuscript without doing any specific editing and forming only a general impression has always seemed a good idea in theory, but […]
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.
Vignettes, scenes, and dialogues are at the core of any memoir—your memoir. Here are some ideas for writing them more quickly and elegantly. 1. Don’t stop to figure out how these snippets may eventually fit together into a story. These bits and pieces will accumulate as you recall more and more and continue to write […]