Today’s Quote on Writing Memoir-I Then, I Now

Two quotes today, both from Thomas Larson’s wonderful book The Memoir and the Memoirist: Reading & Writing Personal Narrative: “It feels natural to see the remembered self as a character who has an independent life, chooses for himself, indulges free will. But memoirists avoid such self-casting. The memoir writer does not situate himself in a recreated world as though he were a literary character. What the memoirist does is connect the past self to–and within–the present writer as the means of getting at the truth of his identity.” “For such emotionally intense memoirs we need emotionally revealing memoirists, authors who …

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FIRST DRAFT, SECOND DRAFT, THIRD DRAFT!

Writing a book is a long and demanding endeavor. It is best accomplished by breaking the process into doable steps. These include dreaming, brainstorming, researching, outlining, and drafting. I am always surprised when writers are surprised by the concept of drafts. I know many writers and not one of them has penned a novel or memoir in one sitting–or even in one draft. Most writers confess to a minimum of two, usually three, and sometimes many more drafts. I suggest you aim gently for three drafts: the first being the rough and wild draft, the second being the editorial revision, the …

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SNIPPETS

This week I confessed to a writer friend who lives in Mexico that I’ve been working on my current novel in five- and ten-minute increments. I’m no stranger to writing on the go. I always carry something to write with and something to write on–tiny notebooks, recipe cards, old receipts and gum wrappers. I’ve been known to call my home phone and leave myself “writerly” messages: a few lines of dialogue, some character notes, the sketchy highlights of a pivotal scene.  I often suggest to clients who are over-scheduled and/or phobic about facing the blank page, that they send me …

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The Writers Telesummit 2008

Creativity coach and author Eric Maisel and two colleagues have teamed up to present the Writers TeleSummit 2008, Thursday, September 4th through Sunday, September 7th, 2008. I’ve found Maisel’s books on creativity and self-coaching to be really helpful. I love the clarity of the steps he offers to demystify the creative process. When I read the list of 24 presenters, I was impressed. Among them: Eric Maisel will talk about “Writing and Selling the Nonfiction Book.” This should be inspiring. Agent and author Jeff Herman has written one of the best guides to writing book proposals. His talk “Finding the …

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BASICS OF WRITING CRAFT IN A NUTSHELL, WHETHER AS PRIMER OR REMINDER:

In a nutshell: Viewpoint – The person and perspective from which your story is told. In the simplest terms the choices are 1st person (I), 2nd person (you, rarely used), limited 3rd person (he, she, as in a central character or protagonist), and 3rd person omniscient (sometimes defined as a godlike viewpoint, shifting between and encompassing the viewpoints of multiple characters). Viewpoint is also referred to as point of view, POV, and/or viewpoint character. Summary – The efficient accounting of events in a story that otherwise are not rendered fully in a scene. Story-telling with the emphasis on the telling …

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Making Creative Time

As a professional writer and writing and creativity coach I am constantly juggling time and space for writing and revising my own books with the work I do with other creatives. Add to the schedule parenting our almost-four-year-old; time with my husband when we actually get to play; time with friends; and time to get on the trail with the dogs. I am no longer juggling, I’m a one-woman circus: lion tamer, clown, trapeze artist, elephant girl, and barker rolled into one. This brings me to the importance of getting away-even when you don’t believe you can. 1) Make plans …

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