Stepping into the forest of my mind

Stepping into the forest of my mind
Just as every journey begins with a first step, every story begins with the first word.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Revision: A Fact of Life—for Writers

Adventures in Writing
Sometimes I feel like I'm always at my computer.
Hook the reader in the beginning of a story or novel.  Yes, even in memoir.  It’s too easy to just close a book and move on if the story’s not interesting.  But to keep the reader hooked throughout the duration of the book, now that’s the difficult part.

            As I pick my way through yet another revision of my manuscript, I’m attempting to see how I can ratchet up the adventure:  the decisions, the obstacles, the fear of attending college as a non-traditional student, a student with five children, a student with a special needs daughter, a student who has a home to maintain and a family to keep in check as her children grow and face their own educational and life obstacles. 

You see, I had completed a revision of the memoir.  And I still laughed in all the same places.  The flow is there; scene into scene, chapter into the next chapter.  There is a timeline showing primarily my maturation as a college student as well as that of my children growing up.   I’m a scene painter, as I’ve said before.  Perhaps I missed my calling and should be a screenwriter or a playwright.     

However, the more I try to consider my college journey, the more my mind is divided with substituting for the media center specialist for the rest of the school year at the high school, the more the family and all their issues cloud my mind.  I think I need to wait for summer vacation and then hide in the library to seriously consider revising the tension in my memoir about attending college with five children in tow.  I think there may be bloodshed among my darlings in this memoir.   

Thanks for any tips you may offer as to how you handle keeping the reader’s interest in your story, be it memoir or fiction.