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Memoir Writing For Dummies

Memoir Writing For Dummies

Ryan Van Cleave

ISBN: 978-1-118-41465-1 February 2013 384 Pages




The fast and easy way to write your memoir

Memoir writing is a growing phenomenon, and not just by celebrities and politicians. Everyone has a story to tell, and Memoir Writing For Dummies provides hopeful writers with the tools they need to share their life stories with the world and become published authors.

With easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions—along with helpful tips and advice on how to get published—Memoir Writing For Dummies shows you how to put pen to paper and hone the craft of writing a truly compelling memoir. You'll get advice on how to explore your memories, map out your story, perfect your plot, 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 editing processes
  • 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 to ensure your life story is never forgotten.

Introduction  1

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 Writing Your Memoir 17

Chapter 3: Understanding What Readers Expect: The Story Behind a Good Story 35

Chapter 4: Researching and Remembering: Gathering Enough Material 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 the Next Level  193

Chapter 13: Adjusting the Big Picture: Fine-Tuning Structure and Story 195

Chapter 14: Ensuring the Theme and Meaning Are What You Want 207

Chapter 15: Making Revisions 221

Chapter 16: Streamlining Your Story with Sentence-Level Edits 231

Chapter 17: Saying the Unsayable: Knowing What to Include or Exclude 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 the Submission Process 281

Chapter 20: Going It Alone: Self-Publishing and E-Publishing 299

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

Index  353