Writing & Selling Your Memoir: How to Craft Your Life Story So That Somebody Else Will Actually Want to Read It
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
There's more to writing a memoir than just writing your life story.
A memoir isn't one long diary entry. Rather, it's a well-crafted story about a crucial, often exceptionally difficult, time in someone's life. Writing & Selling Your Memoir talks readers through the process of telling their most personal stories in a compelling, relatable, and readable manner. Unlike other books dedicated to the art and craft of writing memoir, it teaches readers how to approach the genre with love, respect, and know-how without sentimentalizing it.
Drawing on her experience working with New York Times best-selling memoirists, literary agent Paula Balzer carefully explores the genre and provides readers with step-by-step instruction on how to:
- Identify strong opening and closing points
- Find and develop a strong central hook that readers can relate to
- Structure a memoir to maximize readability
- Use dialogue and pacing to enhance intimacy
- Approach honesty and truthfulness
- Build a successful author platform around their memoir
- Get an agent's attention
- Get published
Full of tips, techniques, detailed exercises, and examples from best-selling memoirs as well as sidebars from well-known memoir authors, Writing & Selling Your Memoir teaches you how to approach an often tricky genre and tell your story without sentimentalizing it.
back on your cornerstone day. It is Gilbert’s ability to understand that the place she has come to (in this case praying on the bathroom floor) means that there is absolutely no other choice at this point than to leave her marriage. It’s a simple image, but it packs a punch nevertheless, and it gets the reader hooked into whatever it is that she’s going to do next. REALITY CHECK: I don’t mean to sound flip, but if it is your intention to become a published memoirist, and you are writing a memoir
around them. Any of you who have young children are especially familiar with this concept. I’ve had to learn to block out the shrill sound of Elmo’s voice and the theme song to Thomas the Train, and I’ve learned to resist the urge to pick up a large pile of toys before I sit down to work—I just pretend they aren’t there. I am also blessed with a group of wonderful friends. But sometimes I just have to say no to drinks or a brunch invitation or leave an E-mail unanswered for a little bit longer
solid query letter with well edited pages is truly rare! FIND A VENUE THAT WORKS FOR YOU: WRITERS’ GROUPS AND WRITING CLASSES Writers’ Groups If you’re a writer who is passionate about the written word, loves writing more than food and air, and reading is just about your favorite thing to do in the entire world, then trust me, there’s a really good chance that there are others nearby who feel exactly the same way that you do. If you haven’t seen signs of an already established writers’ group in
incredibly rare that someone actually follows this formula. The majority of the packages or letters that agents receive are poorly written, the pages are not ready to be seen by anyone other than the writer’s best friend or immediate family, the writer is not behaving like someone we would want to do business with, and more often than not, the project in question is not even a good match for us. It’s up to you. It is completely in your power to create a good submission package. And I guarantee
is that the tears and laughter are rarely separated by so much as a comma. THE COLOR OF WATER BY JAMES MCBRIDE BASIC PREMISE A young man, who is also a writer and a musician, had always been puzzled by his racial identity, so he decides to clarify it for once and for all by researching his mysterious and somewhat dark family history. His mother, Ruth McBride Jordan, concealed her identity as the daughter of an Orthodox Jewish rabbi after she married a black man. She moved to Harlem, converted to