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.

Friday, April 24, 2015

A Life in Reflection: Memoir and Revision

            Hello, HarperCollins?  Are you there?  …I guess not.
Reflection in Memoir is crucial.

            Time to rise from my knees, add reflection to my life, and revise.  It’s so easy to type, isn’t it?  So much harder to do.

            Writing is a career.  I need to remember this.  And like other careers, some tasks can be more difficult.  Revision.  More often than not, I understand narrative arc, characterization, and sense of place.  I know not to bog down my prose with too much detail.  [I try, I really try…]

            I know to hook the reader at the beginning of the story.  In medias res?  At least for my short stories, I do.  Build tension?  Definitely.  A ticking clock—whether age-related, as in my memoir about attending college with five children in tow, or literal—helps.  Each scene counts.  Everything used in story must be integral to the plot.  Always.

            It shouldn’t be “I, I, I”—even in memoir.  But how to break that cycle?  I’m a scene painter, but need to decide if each one is the right color for the memoir. 

I try to create flowing prose with varied sentence structure.  …Sometimes…I think.  Then again, I’m still in the market for a good critique partner.

            Knowing the rules of writing is one thing.  Doing all of them is another.  One at a time, comb the manuscript for potential errors.  Otherwise you’ll remain on your knees and fail to return to the computer.  No one said writing was easy.

            Do you have some revision tips to share?  Please leave a comment.  It is always greatly appreciated.  Happy Spring!