From finding your purpose to structuring your experiences, this book will help you share the story that only you can tell.
Get the Word Out: Write a Book That Makes a Difference
About The Best Memoir
To write the best memoir, you need a foundation of publishing, business, and legal information. You need help honing your craft: narrative plot structure, outlining, POV, scene setting, dialogue, active voice, show-don’t-tell, character and story arc, and more.
But more importantly, you need deep self-awareness and the courage to be honest about your less-than-perfect self: the real you. That is how your readers will believe, enjoy, and recommend your story: not when you cover up the living room furniture of your soul in sticky plastic and ask them to take off their shoes.
The path to writing the best memoir is often buried in mucky foliage. Let The Best Memoir become your personal pair of rubber hip-waders. It will show you how to write memoir. The practicing is up to you.
A great resource for anyone who wants to write their memoir.
The Picture Wall: One Woman's Story of Being His Her Their Mother
Table of Contents
I. Foundations First
- 1What's Your Why?
- 2What's Holding You Back?
- 3What is Memoir?
- 4Your Reader and Why They Buy
- 6Copyright and Permission to Quote
- 7Choose Your Style Guide
II. Ready Set Plan
- 8Narrative Plot Structure
- 9Draft Your Outline
- 10Perspectives and Truth
- 11Self-Awareness, Pain, Vulnerability
- 12Libel, Slander, and Defamation
III. Memoir Writer's Craft
- 13POV: Point of View
- 14Set the Scene
- 15Show Don't Tell
- 16Memoir Dialogue...from Memory
- 17Active vs. Passive Voice
- 18When to Choose Passive Voice
- 19What's Your English?
- 20Plain Language
- 21Perfectionism Run Amok
IV. Writing Process
- 22Your Writing Approach
- 23Writing Pace and Motivation
- 24Your Author Coach
- 25Re: Vision, Revision
From The Best Memoir's Introduction:
Memoir is about truth. Our personal truth. Not capital T truth, because perception of past events is always filtered through the stained glass windows of our coping mechanisms.
Writing our truth requires bucketloads of courage. Because we must face our fallibility, our flaws, our defects, our culpability. In fact we must do so much more than face these things: we must put them on display for the world to see, like leaping stark naked onto a nudist beach after a lifetime of shame around body image.
The very act (or series of painful, daily acts) of writing requires us to have the courage to stare down the facts of our past, to make sense of them, and to show the reader that we’ve come through it all somehow better, wiser, more resilient—rarely do we aim to leave the reader feeling hopeless because we authors come out the other side of our memoir-writing exercise beaten and bloodied.
Writing memoir is not for the faint of heart.
The Best Memoir
How to Write It When You Don't Know How
Boni Wagner-Stafford’s simple, succinct manual will get you thinking and moving in your writing. The Best Memoir will help you see your work more objectively—anticipating the feedback of any good editor—and steer you away from the bigger mistakes that can set you back in your process, so you can reach your big, final goal of a completed, publishable manuscript.
david r. morris
Boni Wagner-Stafford is an author coach, hybrid publisher, cofounder of Ingenium Books, and an award-winning former journalist.
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