Diana Jackson at A Selection of Recollections was kind enough to post an article I wrote about how I put This New Mountain together (and she gave it a great title, too). Visit her site to read “Writing Readable and Compelling Memoir.”
If you’re looking for places to glean great writing advice for memoir, here are four websites I’ve found helpful—plus an in-depth article by bestselling author Jerry B. Jenkins.
♦ National Association of Memoir Writers
The goal of NAMW “is to help memoir writers feel empowered with purpose and energy to begin and develop their life stories into a publishable memoir, whether in essay form, a book, a family legacy, or to create a blog.” Besides excellent articles, they also have public roundtable recordings of topics pertaining to memoir writing.
♦ The Heart and Craft of Life Writing
Tips, guidelines and insights on all facets of life writing, plus click on their Free Stuff tab for eBooks and timeline resources. Content includes author interviews and guest posts, as well as Sharon Lippincott’s own observations and tips from her book, The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing.
♦ Memories & Memoirs
Linda Joy Myers says, “Most people who write memoir are searching for memories that validate their experience, but they worry about writing the truth. A memoir is not a factual recitation of history, it’s a recollection, a musing and merging of images, dreams, reflections moments on your life’s journey.”
♦ Memoir Writer’s Journey
You’ll find a wide range of posts from exploring themes to social media tidbits on Kathy Pooler’s website. She’s “a writer and a retired family nurse practitioner working on a memoir about the power of hope through my faith in God. Hope Matters. I believe we are all enriched when we share our stories.”
♦ “How to Write Your Memoir: A 4-Step Guide” by Jerry B. Jenkins
Jerry Jenkins is the author of the memoir Writing for the Soul (and over 190 other books). In this article, he says, “A memoir draws on selected anecdotes from your life to support a theme and make a point.” But in the eyes of a publisher, your memoir is “not about you — it’s about what readers can gain from your story.” He goes on to discuss: 1) theme; 2) choosing anecdotes; 3) using novel-writing techniques; and 4) telling your truth without “throwing people under the bus.” He also touches on common memoir mistakes and includes a list of 10 well-written memoirs (out of the nearly 50 he read before writing his own). The article is worth a read and bookmarking/printing for later.
What websites or articles do you recommend for writing memoir?