Writers ask me what they can do the most easily to write a better memoir. While I can understand the wish to write more quickly and easily, I’m going to share with you that writing a better memoir needs to be done slowly and thoughtfully. A rushed job is probably going to be a botched […]
The Memoir Writer’s Blog is a collection of stories, articles about writing, guest blog posts and more.
A Suggestion on How to Complete Your Book Manuscript
May I present a surprise blocking solution to complete your book manuscript: don’t write just now.
Here is an example of what I mean: one summer when I was serious about gardening, I went away on a late June trip. It was a fun vacation with my family, but the trip fell at a time when the garden seriously needed daily weeding, hoeing, and watering. As you can imagine, when I returned home, I found my garden overrun with weeds. The vegetables that I had so carefully planted were just about choked out, so I was, to say the least, challenged seeing the overgrown mess of weeds.
Rather than tackle the job immediately, however, which would certainly have been reasonable, I made a counter-intuitive decision: I spent time across several days just sitting on the edge of the garden, envisioning how I wanted the various parts to look once my work of cleaning up was done, imagining the lovely vegetables I would have.
Action will come.
After three days of on-again, off-again scrutinizing and visualizing, my time for action had come.
Sometimes people ask me to come help them choose a title for a memoir. Here are some guidelines I use to generate a memoir title. Choose a title for a memoir: it’s about the reader not about the writer.
As in most endeavors in life, when you write a memoir as an open-ended task without any end in sight, you are likely to procrastinate and extend the project. What happens when you do not set a memoir writing deadline is, next year or the year after that, you are still writing, revising, and polishing your lifestory. You know how it is: you want to get it right. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
For most emerging writers, enrolling in a distance learning program is an exciting experience. At long last, for a period of time that is long enough to make a difference, you give yourself the opportunity to immerse yourself in learning the “best practices” of the writing craft that you has been so wanting to learn for a long time. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
Note from the Editor: This third installment of Before Sending a Manuscript to an Editor series offers basic editing tips around time sequencing and flashbacks. For Part 1: Self-Editing Techniques Click here. For Part 2: Use of Time Click here.
A writer can effect these tips to bring a manuscript to a higher level of finish before sending the piece off to a professional editor. In this section, I write about use of time: specifically, cause and effect time sequencing and flashbacks. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
Can you assume you can depend on your memory when you write your lifestories? The problem with this assumption is that memory isn’t always as reliable as you may want it to be! What are the best interview practices to find out if your memory is spot on? [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
Note from the Editor: This second installment of Before Sending a Manuscript to an Editor series offers basic editing tips around time use of time. For Part 1: Self-Editing Techniques Click here. For Part 3: Time Sequencing and Flashbacks Click here
Clean Up Your Use of Time
This second post on self-editing revolves around the use of time. In the next post, I will write about time sequencing and flashbacks.
1. The historical present looks like the past, but it isn’t.
What tense are you going to use to narrate your story?
Can memoir writers write strategically?
We writers are artists. Most of us cultivate inspiration and are happy when we are under its influence. However, there is no one reading this who is unaware that writing can be pick and shovel work and it can be hard going sometimes—there are days when we would rather clean out the garage or the refrigerator than sit down to write. So…why not make the most of our work and learn how to write strategically? [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
Congratulations to author Dennis Blue! He has received the 2019 Christian Indie Award in the business category for Through the Eyes of a Fisherman. Dennis is truly one of those authors who is a pleasure to work with. He brought much thoughtfulness to bear on his task and we are so proud to see his efforts rewarded.
Talking with Dennis Blue about his writing
Denis Ledoux: Can you tell our readers what your book is about and why you were impelled to write your book? What was driving you to spend the time, energy and money to get this book out into the world?