Our Second List of Lists for Memoir Writers et al.

by Kendra Bonnett on September 17, 2010

Book Business PaperclipPost #56 – Women’s Memoirs, Book Business – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler

I enjoyed collecting the lists of lists so much back on September 3rd, that I thought I’d do it…once more, from the top. So here we go:grammar-lesson

17 Number One Tips

I’ve always said, it pays to learn from the best. “What! I’m not the only one who says that?” I say in feigned shock. John Roach of Pro Writing Tips drew from other top writers and writing sources. My favorite? No. 13: “Just say it. Don’t get cute.”

A List of 100 Lists for Writers

I’ve just been overshadowed by a very ambitious freelance writer/blogger. Kathryn Vercillo says “she’s been a writer as long as she can remember and would probably write even if she never earned a dime.” So you can count on her to have compiled some useful lists for freelancers, bloggers and writers of all stripes. And a big list it is. Click here to check out her blog Real Words…and her list of lists.

Is Your Memoir a Thing of Rhyme and Verse?

If so, this is your site–brought to you by Ashley Bovan in the UK. It’s chock full of words broken down by the number of syllables. He also has lists of verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs split into syllables. In fact, Ashley has even created lists according to their rhyming scheme. Very cool.

Angela’s Best 10 Writing Tips

Angela Booth has been collecting writing tips for 25 years, and in this blog post she shares her best 10. A couple of these I’ve heard before, not that that takes anything away from their value. One in particular, I think, is good advice. Keep your writing and editing separate. In other words, don’t edit your words or thoughts when writing. Get the ideas down on paper first. You’ve got plenty of time to edit…later.

8 Tips for Writing Realistic Dialogue

Ginny Wiehardt lists several solid techniques for incorporating dialogue that is believable. Her No. 1 and No. 2 tips together will teach you a lot. First she advises you to listen to how people talk but then warns that dialogue shouldn’t read exactly like natural speech. Get an audio recorder and capture yourself talking with friends. You’ll be shocked at how often you speak in partial sentences. Repeat yourself and say “um.” Notice too that sometimes the reason you don’t finish a sentence is because whomever you’re talking with anticipates your words. Now that’s a technique that will bring realism to your dialogue.

A Massive List of Writers’ Resources

San Francisco-based Sal Towse brings us the ultimate list for writers and wordies (like foodies only they savor words). Sal describes herself as “unhip” and “unyoung,” parked on the steps of Filbert Street. She names Tim Berners-Lee as her hero; her way of declaring her love of the Internet. So “wordies” revel in this list of obscure dictionaries, editing and grammar resources, lists of slang, and a whole lot more. You’ll definitely want to bookmark this list.

Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing, Margaret Atwood’s 10, Neil Gaiman’s 8, PD James’ 5…and Much More

David Shields, writing for the Guardian, gives us a gift. Annie Enright tells us, “The first 12 years are the worst.” Richard Ford says, “Don’t drink and write at the same time.” And always remember this advice from Jonathan Franzen: “The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator.” Well that’s just the tip of the literary iceberg. You’ll find some good tips, such as Elmore Leonard’s advice: “Never use a verb other than ’said’ to carry dialogue.” Enjoy…and thanks David! Don’t miss the link to Part 2 of the list.

A Women’s List

This one’s a bit different, but it’s worth your attention: Women Writers Through the Ages. You’ll find lists of books by women authors, study group resources and more. Use it on your own or join the discussion.

Memoir Writers Take This to Heart

InternAmie Tweets:Now another memoir that is just recounting the author’s life. No creative writing, no plot. This won’t sell.” It’s not a list, I know, but I couldn’t resist.

Memoir Writing 101

I hope these lists have inspired you to write today. I’ll leave you with this video by memoirist Sheridan Hill, author of My Name As A Prayer: A Daughter and Her Mother Find Peace…Just in Time. Sheridan tells us to court our muse. But to do so we have to get in the habit of showing up…on time…every day.



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Susan Ideus September 17, 2010 at

This is truly a gold mine! Thank you so much. I love lists, and this is a great collections–to use as learning tools, reference, and inspiration.

Kendra Bonnett September 18, 2010 at

Thanks, Susan. I’ll be doing more of these. The Internet is a rich resource to mine.

Linda Thomas September 18, 2010 at

Hi, I’ve been receiving your e-mails for quite some time now but couldn’t access your blog because a security notice kept popping up. Today I tried one more time and HOORAY! No more security notice! I am so excited. Your blog is a treasure! Thank you!

Barbara L Miller September 18, 2010 at

Great lists! What a treasure to search through. Many thanks!

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