How does memoir coaching improve your manuscript? “What does ‘My family was poor mean,” I asked a memoir writing client in a recent coaching session. “Poor?” he asked at the other end of the phone line. “What do you mean what does poor mean? Poor means poor!” “Does poor mean you didn’t have enough to […]
Tag Archives | Improving my memoir
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 […]
You can become a better memoir writer, but it will take some work. How do you achieve mastery in a skill? The answer, however it is presented, comes down to both acquiring knowledge pertaining to the skill and to putting in the time to practice the skill with critiques available to correct your technique and […]
Many of the biggest challenges facing memoir writers can be alleviated by joining a distance-learning writing program.
Your participation will convince you that you can succeed.
Memoir writers—as all writers—work in isolation. There are many times when a memoir writer would like to have a contact with a system that could help her/him to resolve a writing issue—whether it’s a question of grammar, style, or structure.
If you were not a plumber, would you do the plumbing to your house without first learning as much as you could about plumbing?
Of course, you would want to inform yourself.
You might peruse YouTube, buy some how-to books on plumbing, give a call to a person who is a plumber to ask your questions.
Here’s how you as a new writer can follow the same process to write your first memoir draft. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
People will sometimes suppose that only big drama can make an interesting memoir. Of course, there are many readers who require constant titillation if they are to remain reading. Perhaps they are not the readers you should be seeking for your memoir. Nonetheless, nearly all readers require some attention to “interesting.” No, I do […]
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.
The first paragraph of a memoir sets the tone.
The first paragraph creates the tone and often presents imagery that will shape the reader’s appreciation of your story—whether a vignette or a full memoir.
In a short story I wrote many years ago, I did not compose the first paragraph until I had written the whole story. Frankly, I was stumped and did not know how to begin the story, how to launch the reader.
Memoir writers can achieve much alone. But, it is also true that working with a memoir professional can cut down the time it takes to produce a book of memoirs and can significantly jack up the quality.
All About the Memoir Editing Process
When I begin the memoir editing process 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 I have not found a way to do so that is economical. I have therefore evolved this concept of read-throughs as a memoir editing technique. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
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 […]
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. ]