Post #19 – Memoir and Fiction, Writing Alchemy – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler
Your Memoir’s Organization
When I teach memoir writing, I’m often asked about the book’s organization. Should it be chronological? Should it be topical? Should there be flashbacks?
There are many answers to the question. But today I want to explore a topic that may help you both in your writing and your searching for the best way to guide your reader through your life story.
I have been re-reading Natalie Goldberg’s Old Friend from Far Away and was inspired to create a brief video based on her advice to reflect rather than recount your life.
Once you slow down and begin to consider not the what but the impact of the what, as you consider life’s ripples that change the shape of event’s factual image, you may find the message you want to share and then more easily see the organizational scheme that will highlight your reflections.
If you don’t have Goldberg’s book Writing Down the Bones, I recommend that you get a copy and start reading it as soon as it arrives. It’s one of those books on writing that you can return to, learning more each time.