Tag Archives: stories

Connecting the Chapters of Our Lives – Guest Post by, Cynthia Reyes…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

(Or: The glue that holds your Memoir together)

Licence to use obtained – Copyright: gmm2000 / 123RF Stock Photo

Not everyone writes their memoir in a chronological order. Often, we write as we remember. But once we’ve written some or all of the chapters of our lives, we find ourselves with a puzzle. What we have is a bunch of stories without a main thread tying them together into one journey.

How to put some order on the disorder? Make a single narrative out of the wonderful chaos of our memories?

Here are 6 tips to help you transform what you’ve written into one story — the powerful story of your remarkable life.

1: My first suggestion: Leave it, then Re-read it. This time, you’re looking for the theme/s and progression of your story. Try this process:

  1. Put the manuscript aside; leave it alone for some days.
  2. Now reread,

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Abuse victims. Writing their truth.

Julie Mariner

img_3446Back in 2015 Brandon O’Neill wrote a blog for The Spectator chronicling the case of pianist James Rhodes and his victory in court overturning a legal injunction which was preventing him from publishing his child abuse memoir. It is a particularly harrowing account of sexual abuse which leaves little to the imagination.

Not only does O’Neill negate Rhodes’ ‘pornographic detail of abuse’ as he so eloquently puts it but he further goes on to question why we need ‘misery memoirs’ in the first place. The purpose of his article is to beg the question ‘Why can’t the past stay private?’ Writing for the Telegraph back in 2008, Sam Leith again highlighted why we have a need for this kind of memoir with the attention grabbing headline ‘Misery memoirs make pornography of personal pain.

In 2006, 11 of the top 100 best selling English paperbacks were ‘mis lit’ as its so…

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Struggle is universal. People love reading stories about people triumphing over obstacles, overcoming bad circumstances and abuse, and redeeming themselves. We watch them in movies and read them in books. And you don’t have to look far to find suffering and loss in the human experience. Lots of people have amazing stories, and unfortunately those stories aren’t always pleasant. If you’re writing a memoir, or thinking about it, then perhaps you’ve got some difficult stories to tell, too.

How to Write a Memoir About a Painful Experience: 6 Tips

 

Novelty Revisions

reading

I think there’s a big difference between reviewing a book – saying what you did and didn’t like about a story – and tearing apart a novel to highlight all the awful things about it. Criticizing a story is understandable. People do it all the time. It’s a story; it doesn’t have feelings. But when people turn to the writer of that story and start tearing them down for writing a story they did not like … I don’t know about you, but I have a problem with that.

As attached to her stories as a writer may become, a story does not tell you everything about its writer. They are still separate. I have a few words to share with readers who seem to think they know more about other writers’ stories than the writers themselves. Because as much as it might feel like it, a story that someone…

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