Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What are your turning points?

There are tons of books on writing memoirs. I've read a few and bought a dozen more. I've also read hundreds of articles on the craft.

Last Friday, I enjoyed a post on the Writers' League of Texas' Facebook page. It was by Linda Joy Myers, who is speaking at an upcoming one-day conference on memoir for the Writers of Southern Nevada.

Since the writing funds are low, I can't jet to Las Vegas to attend the conference:  Telling Your Story:  The Craft and Business of Memoir Writing. If you can't attend, hop on Facebook and like the Writers' League of Texas page.

Myers sums memoir up well on her guest post:

A memoir is a story, which means it has a structure, and uses fictional techniques to bring a reader into the world you are creating; a memoir needs one or two major themes as the focus.
And, better yet. She breaks it down into turning points.
Your turning points are the emotional hot spots that you will capture in your memoir.
I've been struggling to organize, reorganize and rewrite parts of a memoir in progress. Others have WIP — works in progress. I apparently have a MIP — memoir in progress. 

After reading the post by Myers, I began jotting down about 15 turning points for my MIP. Then, I compared those to my current outline. Some items overlap. I came up with a few new ideas too.

Myers also delves into the important fiction techniques that a memoir writing needs such as a narrative arc, scenes and chapters and the "show, don't tell" method of writing. She provides a few key tips to remember when working on our narrative arc. 

I really appreciate her final statement that :
One scene at a time, one story at a time builds your memoir into a book!
She had some very good tips. You can find plenty more at her site.

The WLT post reminded me of why I am always searching social media sites for writers and writing groups. This piece was a great nugget of information. Now, off to write.


  1. Some great tips! I don't know if I'll ever do a memoir, but many of the techniques use what I'm learning in fiction.


  2. Yes, most memoir use fiction techniques to craft an interesting and entertaining story.


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