Today I’m reblogging a fabulous post from Marian over at PlainandFancygirl.com . In her post, Marian shares some excellent pointers about writing in memoir. What’s different? The spin she puts on it. In this post, Marian uses a metaphoric likeness with memoir writing to baking a cake.
Have a look at this delightful writing recipe:
“Memoir Lesson 1 – Don’t fool yourself into imagining writing will be easy. Writing is certainly rewarding, but learning a new skill can be hard. I had done plenty of writing as an academic, but switching to a new genre like memoir required a totally different mindset.
Even if you end up changing your plan, you have something (like starter dough!) to begin with.
Step 2: Assemble what you need. Anticipate the ingredients and tools necessary. Pull out the mixer, bowls, wooden spatula, measuring cups and spoons. Take the eggs out of the refrigerator to bring to room temperature if necessary.
Memoir Lesson 2 – A memoir is a slice of your life, not a biography. Ask yourself some serious questions: What part of your life will you depict – your childhood, a traumatic experience, a thrilling adventure like sailing around the world? Can you sketch out this “slice of life” in a series of memorable moments? Scribble random thoughts on colored sticky notes? Draw it as a timeline? Write an outline?
What is your theme? If it’s success after a failed first marriage, that controlling idea will be the filter through which you tell your story. Flashbacks can add dimension to writing, but only if these stories connect to your theme. . .” CONTINUE READING
Source: 5 Memoir Lessons Learned from a Special Birthday Cake | Plain and Fancy
“To write a good memoir you must become the editor of your own life, imposing on an untidy sprawl of half-remembered events a narrative shape and organizing idea. Memoir is the art of inventing the truth.”
“Remember that you own what happened to you. If your childhood was less than ideal, you may have been raised thinking that if you told the truth about what really went on in your family, a long bony white finger would emerge from a cloud and point to you, while a chilling voice thundered, “We *told* you not to tell.” But that was then. Just put down on paper everything you can remember now about your parents and siblings and relatives and neighbors, and we will deal with libel later on.”
“I’ve given my memoirs far more thought than any of my marriages. You can’t divorce a book.”
“Someone asked me if I was afraid to write my memoirs. I told him: We have to stop drawing up accounts of fear! We live in a society in which people are allowed to tell their story, and that is what I do.”
“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
I came across this succinct description of writing in memoir I wanted to share here by Scott Berkun who is a very successful writer and memoirist. He wrote a fascinating and finely detailed accounting of all that is involved in writing memoir. In his post he also includes lots of helpful tips as well as a list of references to books, helpful for writing in memoir.
How To Write A Memoir | Scott Berkun.
I am asked many times, how hard is it to write in memoir? Is it easier because you’ve already lived it?
I came across this wonderful article from Publisher’s Weekly Daily on www.publicationsunltd.wordpress.com, a post written by a successful memoir writer, Will Boast.
I particularly zeroed in on this phrase, “Many readers and writers believe that writing a memoir is easier than writing a novel.“ This big misconception is thought by many because they may think it’s easier to write in memoir because one doesn’t have to create a story. This is a huge misconception. Please read on by clicking on the link below.
5 Tips for Writing a Memoir « publications unltd.
September Author Interview Answer #1: What is the goal in your writing career? | International Book Promotion. I was recently asked to be interviewed by International Book Promotion while they were looking for memoir writers for the genre of the month. Not only was I stoked to be invited for the interview, but I was asked if I knew any other memoir writers who may be interested in being interviewed at the same time. The promotion company likes to interview two or three authors of same genre and gives us all a series of same questions for readers, to get different perspectives from authors on same questions. Within the same hour I was asked if I could suggest another nonfiction author who may want to partake in the interview, I got tweeted by a fellow author and friend Adam Henig, asking me if I wanted to do an interview here on my page for an author friend of his who also writes nonfiction/memoir. I had told him that I was too busy to host an interview at that time but maybe she would like to partake in the interview I just agreed to do.
Well it worked out great for both of us and I was honored to be interviewed in the first place, but the added bonus of being in the same interview with fellow esteemed author, Linda Gray Sexton, was the icing on the cake for me. Linda is the author of many books, including her newly published book Bespotted. She is also the daughter of the late great Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Anne Sexton.
Linda and I were both given the same questions and they are being posted one question and answer at a time for a series of posts. The link above is the first part. Question one deals with glimpsing into the honesty of memoir writing. Enjoy!