Weighing advice to writers

February 11, 2010

My writing group met by phone last night. They’re mostly novelists, with a nonfiction writer thrown in there. I’m the only one working on a memoir.

I’m wondering how much of the advice that applies to novelists also applies to memoir. I’ve heard that writers should treat memoirs like fiction and I see how that’s true. Story arc, character development, conflict and resolution all apply.

As a personal essayist, it’s daunting to be taking on a book-length project. Writing something that isn’t resolved in 2000 words or less? Yikes!

Yes, I’ve written my whole life. But I look forward to learning at the conference this weekend.

2 comments on “Weighing advice to writers
  1. Diana Strinati Baur says:

    This is an interesting point. I struggle with it as well. For non fiction, character development is so important, but not the stuff of fantasy, so taking what is really there and making it well rounded enough to reflect the actual person and also be interesting, so that they sense what you sense.

    But I don’t think you will have any problems with this. I sense, my dear that you are a point and bloom person. (just point the girl in the right direction and she’s gonna bloom!). So that’s why conferences and writing groops are really good for you — because you glean the things and then get inspired by them!

    hmmm. Wish i were with you!

  2. This was an outstanding conference and you need to come with me next yr. However, I am feeling tremendously insecure about this book….I just have to sit down and write it, as one agent said to me yesterday.

    As far as “point and bloom” I hope you are more right than wrong in the studio this fall! Let’s book a couple teaching days. We are so excited to have our tickets. Arriving 9/29 and checking out to drive to Genoa 10/5.

    I didn’t realize it was possible to have this happy a life. ;-)))))

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