Posts Tagged Writing Tips

How to Safely Skip Ahead

How to Safely Skip Ahead

 A memoir student asked me recently if it was okay that she was skipping ahead in the chronology she planned for her story. She was jumping a time period of several years to write about a part that came more easily to her to write. The material she was skipping

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Easy Ways to Enliven Your Writing

Easy Ways to Enliven Your Writing

You’re at the movies and the lights dim. A camera pans a cityscape. This is called a long shot. There’s no action but you get a sense of a location. Next, the camera moves in, focusing on something specific, maybe a particular building in that cityscape. The camera moves in

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Evoke the Era

Evoke the Era

Everyday pleasures. My neon green transistor radio. The stack of ’45s I played on my turntable—the Temptations, the Jackson 5. Monday nights watching Laugh-In. Bazooka Bubble Gum. Astro Pops. Fizzies. It’s a 1960s childhood. I flattened my thick wavy hair with egg shampoo and wrapped it around my head every

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Easy As 1-2-3

Easy As 1-2-3

What’s new? Whatever is new in your life makes a great writing topic. It’s where the energy is. Even if you’re already working on something else, try this: 1. Make a list of what’s new in your life right now — the standouts. Go for 3 to 5 topics. It

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Make Your “Fertile 50” List

Make Your "Fertile 50" List

It’s springtime in Texas, when the bluebonnets are in bloom and women from around the country come together for a conference in Austin to learn more about lifewriting. It’s the “Stories from the Heart” conference of the national organization Story Circle Network, “for women with stories to tell,” April 15

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Show Character

Memoir is about people and experiences. It’s about relationships, connection. And characters — the people in our life stories — are at the heart of it all. I see some of my students and clients writing memoir that can suffer from describing incidents one after another, neglecting the important fact

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No More ‘Blah Blah Blah’

Some people worry their life stories won’t translate to the page, that they’ll sound dull (“this happened, then this happened, then this happened”). It doesn’t have to be that way. It’s all in how you shape it. Think of how we live. This happens and then that happens, and then

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