Just “throw up” on paper!
I know it’s a challenge sometimes to just keep going! To just keep writing!
it’s so instinctual for us to want to edit as we go along. But you can break the habit, and you’ll be happier in the long run for it.
It’s better to “throw up on paper” and have a lot of thoughts and ideas, from which you can edit later.
This is mostly about mindset.
You tend to labor over one page again and again, or, you feel a third of the way through that you should go back and fix/change…
The very idea of bussing through the Andes evokes images of chickens and goats and pigs as fellow passengers. I found this historic South American travel legend to be far removed from my 10-hour bus ride from Cuenca to Quito, Ecuador. The ride was not, however, without its moments.
At 7:00 a.m. lively activity sparks the Terminal Terrestre bus station in Cuenca. …
Let’s admit it right up front.
No matter why you’re writing a memoir, I believe everyone would secretly like to have a New York Times best-seller.
For this to happen, first your book has to have that magic “something” that entices and intrigues agents, editors, and ultimately readers.
So right now I want to share with you some ideas of what that could be, so you can be thinking about it.
To borrow from fiction I want you to begin to think in terms of
· a classic plot device
· an enticing topic, or
· a universal theme
Here are 5 great reasons you can write your personal story as a novel:
1. You can write about scenes and events you didn’t actually witness.
2. You can make up new dialogue.
3. Events can be rearranged to create a new compelling story.
4. You can add or delete people or events according to a more dramatic, creative storyline.
5. Writing about what happened and your feelings about it could be easier for you emotionally.
Your personal story already contains many of the same elements you would use to write a novel.
There will be interesting characters, snappy dialogue…
What are you going to call your personal story? A memoir or an autobiography?
What’s the difference? Is there any difference?
It’s important that you are clear about this because your potential reader wants to know this right up front.
According to Writer’s Digest:
· An autobiography focuses on the chronology of the writer’s entire life
· A memoir covers one specific aspect of the writer’s life.
I’ve noticed recently in the marketing world of Amazon.com that many autobiographies are being labeled as memoir.
For instance, Michelle Obama’s book Becoming is called a memoir when in fact it covers her…
The last thing you want is for your reader to throw your book down in disgust and declare, “That is so stupid! That would never happen!”
How many times have you heard or read that if you come home and find your door ajar, you should NOT ENTER, but immediately leave and call the police?
Yet in so many television dramas I see the main character walk right in — albeit with caution — while in my head I’m screaming, “That’s STUPID! Don’t do that!”
To me, that is cliché action and borderline “would never happen.”
Even if you write…
As a Success Coach for Memoir Writers and Admin for the Facebook group, Aspiring Memoir Writers, I hear this fear expressed in many different ways.
One big fear of exposure is sharing painful memories and emotions. How much should you tell? What you do leave out? How do you find the right words to explain your strongest, most painful — or even your happiest memory?
This may come easier for writers who have kept a personal journal for years, but what about the rest of us?
Readers want to know how what happened to you affected you, and how it…
Their reasons usually boil down to one or several of these 8:
1 — I really don’t have the time to write
2 — I don’t know how to write
3 — It’s all too painful to write about
4 — No one would be interested
5 — I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings
6 — I don’t want to be sued.
7 — I’m afraid of what my spouse/children/parents/co-workers/ex-boss/ex-spouse/ex-lover/sister/brother/cousin will think.
8 — I don’t know where to start
This guess of mine is based on years of working as a memoir author, a memoir workshop leader and…
To that I’d add, change. Whether we like it or not, our lives are constantly in a state of change.
It’s always been a given in fiction writing that the main character must experience some form of change by the end of the book.
Personal experience — and the changes that result — leads to lessons learned.
I’m sure you’ll agree that you know a lot more now than you did when the journey you want to write about in your memoir began.
In some — maybe several — ways that knowledge has changed you.
· Moving to a new…
Notice these are all strong EMOTIONS.
At least 3 of them should be in a novel in some form.
And this applies to your memoir as well.
Here are the 3 I identified for my first memoir, Coming to Las Vegas, A true tale of sex, drugs & Sin City in the 70s.
And here are the 3 I identified for my second memoir, HELP! I Married An Alien A Comedian
These themes about strong emotions…