All posts by lynettedavis

Memoir: From Reality to Reality

Laughing Penguins

A memoir is often seen as a single-dimensional ‘truth’ about a writer, the writer’s self-expression or confession. A memoir, in in fact, is the writer’s perception of truth, and her need to express that perception in her chosen format.

And so, a memoir is the writer’s journey from reality of lived experience to the reality of ‘worded’ impressions.

There are things in a writer’s life that present themselves unasked, uninvited, right there at her desk; then there are moments that demand the writer’s focused attention to reveal themselves; finally there are faraway wraiths of memories that desperately seek writerly resolve, and vital emotional effort to divulge their core and deepest essence. This is the truth; so is that; and so is that.

On the other side, a reader of a memoir fixes her gaze on a single familiar face: this is what she thought, this is where she ate and…

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How Working with a Critique Group Can Improve Your Manuscript

I wrote my first four novels without any outside input up to the point when I sent the second draft to a small group of pre-readers, made more changes and then on to my editor. Then I moved home from London to the English south coast and started work on novel number five, which became…

via How Working with a Critique Group can Improve your Manuscripts — Women Writers, Women’s Books

#IndieAuthor Friday Allen Long #Memoirs

Books and Such

It’s Friday!!!!!  Today’s indie author is Allen Long, here with his memoir, Less ThanHuman.  It’s received positive reviews, with one Amazon reviewer stating the ‘….writing style is unique in that in draws the reader in, tells of sadness experienced by the author, but has an undertone of triumph and joy.’

“In Less than Human,” Allen Long tells the story of his often nightmarish childhood in the wealthy suburbs of D.C., the wonders and mysteries of teenage love, his ill-advised journeys into corporate America and a hellish marriage, and ultimate breakdown. And yet, his story is mostly one of triumph. He draws strength from the joys of fatherhood, he finds true love in his second marriage, and through working with psychotherapists and leading a life rich in self-examination, he overcomes both child abuse and the resulting PTSD, finally learning that instead of being less than… he is, indeed… human.

“Less than…

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Using Triggers to Poke at a Character’s Emotional Wound

Kobo Writing Life

By Angela Ackerman

When it comes to acknowledging what hurts us, the old saying, Deny, deny, deny! comes to mind. Why? Because in real life we don’t want to appear weak, so when we suffer emotional pain, we often stuff it down deep and paste on a smile as if nothing is wrong. It’s no different with our characters, and in both cases, refusing to deal with wounding events carries a steep price.

Unresolved psychological pain doesn’t go away and hiding it only leads to dysfunction and unhappiness.

Emotional trauma is, by nature, painful. When it happens, our feelings are laid bare. So it’s no wonder that last thing anyone wants to do is unpack that vulnerability again to work through it. Avoidance seems better, but it leads to dysfunctional coping methods like bad habits, flaws, biases, and emotional reactiveness.

This type of emotional shielding keeps people and further possible…

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A long way home by Saroo Brierley

rrlreads

Amy A Long Way HomeNot the most beautifully written, A Long Way Home is an extraordinary story of a very small, lost, boy holding tight to his memories, being supported by his adoptive parents and using technology methodically and painstakingly to find his family. It is uplifting and hopeful, if not very revealing of personality.

Find in library

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Writing Reviews

T. R. Robinson Publications

adult-2242164_1280Though this discussion will concentrate upon the writing of book reviews, many of the principles will apply equally to the writing of reviews for other products.

Who reviews are for and what readers would like to gain from them has been previously discussed in Reviews – What Wanted? This discussion is intended to enlarge upon the theme, especially with regard to the elements of a review.

It must be acknowledged, for many, particularly those not accustomed to writing, preparing a review may prove a daunting prospect. Some may also find the degree of responsibility that comes with writing a review (to get the facts right and to represent the work fairly) uncomfortable.

There are three parts to this discussion: Why some readers do not write reviews; What a review should include; The presentation of a review.

Why do readers NOT write a review?

Prior to considering the possible…

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The Five Stages Of Revising Your Novel

Kobo Writing Life

By Lisa M. Lilly

You’ve finished a first draft of your novel. Now what?

If you’re like most writers (including me), your draft includes points that require more research, scenes that trail off, plot holes, or all of the above.

Addressing every issue at once is overwhelming. The five steps below can organize and speed up your revision process.

Step One: Start With The Story

Once you’ve let your novel sit for at least a week, read it all the way through. Focus on your plot, asking yourself:

  • Is there conflict on page one?
  • Does the plot turn in a significant way at each quarter point in the novel?
  • Is your protagonist actively pursuing her goals?
  • Does your antagonist strenuously oppose your protagonist?
  • Does tension increase as the story progresses?
  • Do the events logically flow from one another?
  • Does your climax resolve the major plot issues and pay off emotionally…

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Why I prefer nonfiction over fiction

Sarahbeth Caplin

35244821086_e8236a33a9_z1-300x200Since I was a child, I’ve dreamed of becoming the next great American novelist. I have published a few novels, and yet none of them are quite as dear to my heart as my two memoirs. I realized something critical about myself the more I’ve devoted myself to nonfiction writing (mostly about the intersection of faith and politics): I’m not very good at making things up.

If there’s anything I’ve learned during my time as a graduate student of creative nonfiction, it’s that memoir writing, and even literary essays, can follow a story arc similar to what you’ll find in fiction: there is a beginning, a development of conflict, a set of characters (even if the only character is the writer herself), a middle, and a resolution. Like fiction, nonfiction doesn’t require a neat, tidy ending. But a decisive finishing point is required just the same.

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The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr

Ashley Simon

Reading a memoir is a bit like stalking someone on Facebook. You might feel a little guilty but that probably won’t stop you from hungrily searching through the private parts of their life. I’m fascinated by this genre—and even hope to write a memoir someday myself—so I found The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr an incredible read. Not only is it is an excellent resource for anyone who is interested in memoir (or writing in general), it’s also funny and easy-to-read. I haven’t actually read any of Karr’s memoirs yet (gasp!) but that didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of this book.

Karr draws on her own experience and the experience of other authors to answer questions like:

  • Where’s the line between truth and untruth?
  • What do you do when your memory conflicts with a family member’s or friend’s?
  • How do I know if I’m ready to write a memoir?

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