Editing—The art, craft and business of writing

Naming Your Memoir’s Premise—A Key to Structure

Naming Your Memoir’s Premise—A Key to Structure

I’ve been thinking more this month about how to find your way into the wealth of material that is your life, and compose from it a memoir. I wrote about this last month, and actually in all my columns since the pandemic began, and the […]

How To Structure Your Memoir (third and final in the pandemic series: stay at home and write your memoir )

How To Structure Your Memoir (third and final in the pandemic series: stay at home and write your memoir )

When the pandemic started, I wrote about using stay-at-home time to work on your memoir, and then followed up with a column on the basics of organizing your shimmering images—your vivid memories.With back-to-school mentally kicking in (even if back-to-school is unfamiliar), it’s time to find […]

Stay At Home—And Write Your Memoir #2 (from May 2020)

Stay At Home—And Write Your Memoir #2 (from May 2020)

Last month I wrote about using your time, while at home, to work on a memoir and suggested the basics for getting started. This month here’s the next step: what to do with all those memories you’ve been stockpiling, or with all the stories you’ve […]

Stay At Home—And Write Your Memoir

Stay At Home—And Write Your Memoir

We are all going to have time eddying around us in these coming weeks, as life shifts into a new and unfamiliar rhythm, but once we strike that rhythm—whatever it is for each individual household—once we get past the panic and stock piling of supplies, […]

How Do You Handle Dialogue In a Memoir?

How Do You Handle Dialogue In a Memoir?

People talk. And in your memoir, even if you are the kind of writer who leans more toward the meditative/reflective style of memoir writing—at some point, your characters will open their mouths and speak. So, the question becomes: Are you allowed to invent? Obviously, you […]

Should Your Memoir Have the Shape of a Novel?

Should Your Memoir Have the Shape of a Novel?

If you’re writing a memoir this year, you will—at some point—confront the question of whether your story should read like a novel. The answer to that question is as individual as your writing style and the story you have to tell. Maybe you naturally share […]

The Best Memoir I’ve Read, and Why It’s Important If You Want to Sell Your Memoir

The Best Memoir I’ve Read, and Why It’s Important If You Want to Sell Your Memoir

Nearly twenty-five years ago, I happened upon a short blurb about a book in the Quality Paperback Book Club newsletter. That’s going to be a hit! I thought, so I ordered a copy, read it, and watched the world of story roll over in front […]

How Can I Finish My Memoir by the End of the Year? Three plans for right now

How Can I Finish My Memoir by the End of the Year? Three plans for right now

Many of you have begun your memoir. Many of you are almost done with your memoir. And some of you are still thinking about it and writing it in your head. Here are three strategies for the Return to School spirit you feel in September […]

Memoir Writing: Avoid the Fiery Issues of the Day, or Take Sides?

Memoir Writing: Avoid the Fiery Issues of the Day, or Take Sides?

We live in a time of intense political debate. Siloed in our separate value and belief systems we find it hard to talk with strangers because we do not know what they believe, so we side-step controversy and avoid topics that might upset them. But […]

How Long Does It Take to Write a Memoir?

How Long Does It Take to Write a Memoir?

When you sit down to write a memoir you may wonder how long it’s going to take to finish the thing. The fact it, there’s no standard time frame. I have encountered several writers who say they worked for fifteen years to get it right—to […]