Writers Block

15 Jul

I have it.

But just for the blog. I don’t have it for my memoir manuscript. TMAOTFN, for short. I’m reading a book right now called “Writing & Selling Your Memoir” by Paula Balzer and I’m very encouraged by what I’m learning. She’s an agent who has a passion for memoirs, so she knows what she’s talking about.

So far I’ve decided that:

  1. I have a good structure. She encourages authors to play with the structure of their work. I have daily blog entries (with titles that always contain the word “marvelous”). Each entry starts on a new page, and the whole thing is broken into 8 sections (months).
  2. I have a good voice. She talks about authors finding their authentic voice. Well, this is it. I’ve found it. Slightly sarcastic, somewhat self-deprecating, hopefully humorous, and maybe a little intelligent, too.
  3. I need to work on pacing a bit. Specifically, I need to slow some parts down and add descriptions – landscapes, people, smells, etc. I think I can do that.
  4. I’m a bit worried about my narrative thread. I don’t have a Big Huge Truth that I learned while I was over there, I wasn’t escaping tragedy, I wasn’t on a journey of self-discovery. I was carpe diem-ing. For 6 months. Carpe month-ing. Carpe half-yearing! But I don’t know if that’s enough of a narrative thread. I guess I’ll just keep working with what I’ve got, start submitting it, and see what agents/editors say.

Those are some good decisions. Apparently the next part of the book is crafting a good first paragraph. Mine is kind of lame at the moment, so I’m hoping to get some fireworks started. Make ’em go “Ah, ah, ah,” and all that.

Hey, I have an idea…how about if I post my current first paragraph and my new first paragraph? Not right now, but when I’m done with the new first paragraph. Hmmm, I think that might be interesting. Watch this space.


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