Editor’s note: We came across this guest article published by Justine Kuntz back in 2013, and were so taken with her story of retiring to memoir writing that we decided to publish it again. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did and that it inspires reflections on your own life and memoir.
Eight years ago as a retirement project for church, I introduced memoir writing at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Boca Raton, FL. Earlier, after twenty-two years of teaching English, I chose to flee the regimen of teaching and accepted a position in the business world. The new position required learning more about computers than what I had used in the classroom but that turned out to be a blessing in disguise when I fully retired nine years later. While in business, I had missed teaching, so developing a curriculum for memoir writing made me feel at home once again and helped ease me into retirement and doing what I loved most—teaching.
Develop Vivid Characters
- Are the characters your memoir going to bore—rather than impress—your readers?
- Are you at a loss—“Help! What can I do!”—about how to make the people in your memoir more interesting?
- Are you embarrassed by the “stick” characters you have presented? “She really was a complex person, but I don’t know how to show her that way.”
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