Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Friend Wants to Write a Memoir

And so I say ...

  • I suppose there are infinite means of organizing a memoir. You could compress chronology into five or six or seven chapters, and move the thematic pieces into a block of concluding chapters. You could make the entire memoir chronological, and intersperse the thematic chapters at the point where you first "encountered" the dynamic of the theme.
  • Have you outlined? Or have you written out, say, a series of index cards with notes on what each chapter will contain?
  • You should shoot for eighty to one hundred thousand words.
  • And then expect significant editing.
  • You should fight to maintain your "voice" during the editing process.

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