Done properly, memoir is more than just a recitation of facts about a person’s life.
It’s a journey, connecting writer and reader in that shared space where we all experience what it means to be human. In Writing Memoir: The Practical Guide to Writing and Publishing the Story of Your Life, Jerry Payne details, in an easy-to-follow way, how to take the particulars of one's life and weave them into a moving, compelling, page-turning story. Using examples from his own works as well as other works from the masters of the genre, Payne discusses narrative arc, theme, character development, description, dialogue, flow, and voice.
Concise, yet comprehensive, Writing Memoir also covers essential concerns like how to construct an effective outline, how to avoid common errors of grammar and punctuation, how to go about editing and rewriting, how to view one's book critically and objectively, and the ins and outs of both traditional publishing and self-publishing.
|Product dimensions:||5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.27(d)|
Table of Contents
Chapter One A Good Reason to Write Chapter Two Your Contract with the Reader. Your Contract with Yourself Chapter Three Learning from the Masters Chapter Four The Story of Your Life Chapter Five Theme: Your Connection to the Reader Chapter Six Building Your Birdhouse Chapter Seven Writing. Reading. Rewriting. Chapter Eight Spotting the Weaknesses Chapter Nine Fumbling Towards Objectivity Chapter Ten Polishing it Up Chapter Eleven Traditional Publishing Chapter Twelve Self-Publishing: The Twenty-First Century Way
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Carla Trueheart for Readers' Favorite In a short amount of space, Writing Memoir: The Practical Guide to Writing and Publishing the Story of Your Life educates the aspiring memoir writer on every aspect of book construction, including pitches, themes, writing techniques and publishing. Author Jerry Payne does not sugarcoat the facts of book publishing, but holds the reader’s hand as they start with a concept for a memoir and develop a manuscript. Included in the book are reasons why people might write a memoir, advice on how to stick to the facts of a story while honoring private names and places, writing tips, examples of story structures, and how to outline. There are invaluable examples of other memoirs, as well as what to do when you are finished writing. Writers, experienced and new, should find something helpful in this book. Reading Writing Memoir: The Practical Guide to Writing and Publishing the Story of Your Life happened to coincide with a class I’m taking on memoir writing and nonfiction. I have to say that this book is more straightforward and entertaining than my class textbook, and I indeed learned more through Jerry Payne’s examples and advice. Some of the highlights would include the perfect start to finish the structure of the book, the advice to connect with a reader and make the memoir less about you, and the editing and publishing advice toward the end of the book. Many books of this genre do not offer that kind of help for the reader. All in all, this book was a delight to read, extremely informative, and will no doubt help me with my own writing endeavors. I recommend it to anyone looking to start a memoir for any reason, whether as a family keepsake or to sell to the public.
Reviewed by Susan Violante for Reader Views (11/2016) “Writing Memoir: The Practical Guide to Writing and Publishing the Story of Your Life” by Jerry Payne is a short and sweet a personable guide for memoir writing. It begins by inviting the reader to explore their reasons for writing a memoir. I loved that the author did this at the beginning because many writing guides do not make evident that the reason for writing will determine all of the major decisions the author will have to make during the writing and publishing process. Furthermore, this phase can even discourage the writer to move forward with a memoir, and maybe explore other genres for the story they feel the need to share. The author then moves forward by holding the reader’s hand and taking them through the process, not of becoming a famous published author necessarily, just a writer–one that can be proud and satisfied of being a writer. This is what I loved about this little blue book. It actually, guides the reader to find out what they really want, and then walks the reader through the process of taking their life experiences and manifest the best way to share it. Payne’s writing style is personal, informative, and easy to read. I was impressed by his ability to organize such a long process into a short, concise guide. The fact that he is actually a professional writer provides the reader the opportunity of learning from someone who has written many different types of life stories, and not just his own. I also liked how he organized all of the different steps and factors of the process and complemented the information with specific examples on occasions. His writing flowed wonderfully and allowed me as the reader to see the overall process painlessly. At the same time, it was easy to re-visit specific parts of the process. Overall, I not only found “Writing Memoir” by Jerry Payne to be very helpful to memoir writers but also to writers in general. A pleasure to read, it is an awesome resource for writers that should be part of a writer’s starting library!
Practical, professional advice on how to write your memoir Jerry Payne is a ghost writer, he writes for other people. Mostly he writes memoirs. He feels, and rightly so "there is something profoundly revelatory in exploring a life to the depth that’s required to write about it." He suggests an honest memoir does just that. In his book, Writing MEMOIR, The Practical Guide to Writing and Publishing the Story of Your Life, Payne is also honest in his assessment of those who want to take this project on. Some people just can't write, others can't be honest with themselves. However, if you have a proclivity for writing and can be honest with yourself this book is an excellent guide. First and foremost, Payne points out that a memoir is not the story of your life but a story of an interesting part of your life. He suggests you approach your memoir as an author approaches a novel defining goal, motivation and conflict and establishing a story arc. If you don't know what all this means, he explains it. He also offers writing advice - how to "show" (action) rather than "tell" (summary and passive). There's also information how to effectively revise and polish your work and when that's done how to go about attempting to find a traditional publisher or to self-publish. Writing Memoir is not the work of an angst-ridden author telling you how he or she struggled to come to grips with writing their own story. It is a very readable practical guide, excellently presented by a seasoned professional. As a facilitator of creative writing circles at which many of the participants are writing a memoir I would recommend Writing MEMOIR, The Practical Guide to Writing and Publishing the Story of Your Life over all other books I've read on this subject. I receive this e-book free in the hopes of an honest review.