Advice for memoir writers (10)

Self-absorbed memoir lacks spiritual context for former actress’ life

Readers of a memoir expect to see change, development, growth, as well as an awareness of the direction the writer’s life has taken. To disappoint readers and reviewers in these areas is to diminish the book’s appeal.

Opinion: Memoir manifesto

A bucketful of reminders for all writers of life stories, regardless of whether they share the theological perspective of the author.

On writing a memoir

Some reflections by a thoughtful memoirist on what it takes to twist the truth about a life in the most appropriate way. An excellent reading list is attached.

How people react when you tell them your memoir is about getting into gang bangs as a female swinger

This article is as fascinating for its reader comments as for its own content. This has lots to do with how an author writing a memoir, and thus (in theory) trying to be self-revelatory, can retain privacy and focus on the job at hand in a public space, where people expect to let their hair down and approach anybody, even writers, with intrusive personal questions. You choose your audience even before you set words out for an imagined public.

“Write a sentence as clean as a bone” and other advice from James Baldwin

Treasured nuggets of wisdom from one of the great ones.

How to write a book without losing your mind

If you’re a procrastinator, this article also contains advice on how not to write a book – and how to lose your mind while waiting for a book to write itself.

Vow: A memoir of marriage (and other affairs) by Wendy Plump – review

Forget about potential appeal. A story is good only if it is well told.

Minds are the strangest thing

Life is not art. It can have form and meaning only if somebody imposes them. A book that is too lifelike raises questions about why it had to be written.

Douglas Kennedy: a storyteller grappling with the larger things in life

Here’s a writer who has become successful by refusing to plan to write when he has time. We all have time. The trick is to use it well.

Professor talk: So you want to write a memoir?

A collection of thoughts from a memoir professor introducing the genre to prospective writers.