First, the rules: One must write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, an average of 1,667 words each day.
My rules: Forget everything you know about POV, character development, including five senses in every scene, dialogue, punctuation and what your middle grade English teacher taught you. Just write. Have fun.
My result: All of my characters have multiple personalities, they love to dye their hair and own a rainbow of contact lenses, their scars (physical and mental) move across or up and down their bodies, it’s 90 degrees one day and snowing the next, none of the characters eat but they drink a lot of coffee, no one wears clothes, one of them marries his sister, one dies but appears perfectly healthy in the next chapter and not one of them resembles me or anyone else in my family. One more thing: I forgot to Save the Cat.
With a reading goal of 24 books in 2016, I was surprised to see that I actually read (or listened to) 34 books. These are the ones that I recommend, in no particular order.
Since one of my goals is to finish my memoir this year, I’d have to say that Why We Write About Ourselves is a “must read” for anyone thinking about telling her story. For added inspiration The Magic of Memoir will appear on my 2017 list.
The rest of the books above I read for entertainment and gave each one a five star rating. Yes, I see that my favorites are not memoirs. I enjoy those too and I did give several of them a five star rating on Goodreads. So the question beckons – if I am so into fiction, why the heck am I trying to write a memoir? Bottom line, truth may be stranger than fiction but fiction might be a necessary distraction in dealing with truth.
The memoir writing slows as I spend more time researching how to do it rather than adding words to the book. Memoir accountability this week – zilch. Research accountability – hours. It’s a good thing the memoir class begins this Friday.
Aboard the Zephyr yesterday, I finished reading Why We Write About Ourselves: Twenty Memoirists on Why They Expose Themselves (and Others) in the Name of Literature. It’s excellent. But, I may need to read the 20 something memoirs before I write mine. Incentive to write: strive to be in the 2nd edition.