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The fast and easy way to write your memoir
Memoir writing is a growing phenomenon, and not just bycelebrities and politicians. Everyone has a story to tell, andMemoir Writing For Dummies provides hopeful writers with thetools they need to share their life stories with the world andbecome published authors.
With easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions—along withhelpful tips and advice on how to get published—MemoirWriting For Dummies shows you how to put pen to paper and honethe craft of writing a truly compelling memoir. You'll get adviceon how to explore your memories, map out your story, perfect yourplot, setting, character, and dialogue, and so much more.
- Includes tips on getting over writer's block
- Guides you through every step of the writing and editingprocesses
- Covers the best ways to market a finished memoir
Packed with proven tips and writing tricks of the trade,Memoir Writing For Dummies gives you everything you need toensure your life story is never forgotten.
About the Author
Ryan G. Van Cleave, PhD, is the author of 20 books, including creative writing textbooks, an illustrated humor book, a young adult novel, and a bestselling memoir. He lives in Sarasota, Florida, where he works as an international speaker, a freelance writer, and the creative writing coordinator for The Ringling College of Art + Design. He has taught memoir writing at numerous universities as well as at prisons, community centers, and urban at-risk youth programs.
Table of Contents
Part I: The First Steps to Writing a Memoir 7
Chapter 1: The Lowdown on Memoir Writing: Just the Basics 9
Chapter 2: Getting Started: What You Need to Know about WritingYour Memoir 17
Chapter 3: Understanding What Readers Expect: The Story Behind aGood Story 35
Chapter 4: Researching and Remembering: Gathering EnoughMaterial 47
Chapter 5: Developing Ideas like the Pros 61
Part II: Telling Your Story with Pizzazz 75
Chapter 6: Giving Your Story Some Structure77
Chapter 7: Establishing the Setting and Scene 93
Chapter 8: The Character of Characters 111
Chapter 9: Making the Most of Dialogue 129
Chapter 10: Realizing the Power of Voice 153
Chapter 11: Handling Point of View 165
Chapter 12: Bold Beginnings and Fantastic Finishes 179
Part III: Revising, Editing, and Pushing Your Story to theNext Level 193
Chapter 13: Adjusting the Big Picture: Fine-Tuning Structure andStory 195
Chapter 14: Ensuring the Theme and Meaning Are What You Want207
Chapter 15: Making Revisions 221
Chapter 16: Streamlining Your Story with Sentence-Level Edits231
Chapter 17: Saying the Unsayable: Knowing What to Include orExclude 251
Part IV: Sharing Your Story: A Publishing Primer 263
Chapter 18: Locating and Landing a Literary Agent 265
Chapter 19: Making Sense of Traditional Publishing and theSubmission Process 281
Chapter 20: Going It Alone: Self-Publishing and E-Publishing299
Chapter 21: Promoting Your Finished Product (and Yourself)317
Part V: The Part of Tens 333
Chapter 22: Ten Myths about Memoirs 335
Chapter 23: Ten Reasons Memoirs Are Rejected 341
Chapter 24: Ten Tips to Writing Your First Book 347