Creative Writing | 5 Writing Tips from Irene Graham

1. Think about your writing journey, plan it, plan where you want your writing to take you in easy steps – 3 months from now, 6 months, 1 year, 3 years.  Approach your writing journey just like you would if you were taking an actual journey by plane, coach or whatever. Quote Give it a Try

2. Writing is about understanding story and how to create it. Do you know how to create a story?  If you don’t, you are not ready to write your book.  You need to learn how to create story so that you can then develop your story…and write it creatively.

3. Are you yearning to write – but don’t know what to write about? This is common. Start with writing exercises to help trigger thoughts and memories. Remove your edit button and just start writing, see what happens. You don’t have to show your work to anyone, so just free flow and get into the mode of writing.

4. Have you written 10,000 words + and feel your story is going nowhere? If you feel there is something missing while you are furiously writing your book – there probably is.  Think about seeking advice on your story and your writing – don’t continue to write 80,000 + words that you are unsure about.  Think of all the precious time you are going to save by getting your story ‘right’ before you commit your story to the page.

5. Have you a story to tell but don’t know how to approach it or are afraid to tell it because it may upset x, y or z in your life?  There are many ways to approach getting your story onto the page, sometimes what you don’t say (in the way you leave it out) can say even more than what you write. It’s an art, it’s an art that is worth learning!

Writing Retreats Workshops – The Creative Writer’s Workshop

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Writing Rejection | J K Rowling

J K Rowling, in an article in the Herald Scotland, reveals how Harry Potter and her Robert Galbraith crime novels were rejected by publishers.

Take heart dear writer….and keep sending out those query letters!

CLICK TO READ J K ROWLING ARTICLE

Creative Writing Retreats

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Memoir Writing | Memoir vs Autobiography

Man & Dog Copyright©IreneGraham 2012 office@thecreativewritersworkshopMemoir writing has in the recent past become a genre in its own right.  It is now considered creative non-fiction, and is a popular genre in bestseller lists. In contrast to autobiographical writing in years gone by, a writer does not need to be famous or well known to write a memoir.

Autobiographical Writing encompasses a whole life – a life story usually written chronologically from birth to a given point in time. Thus autobiographical writing includes perhaps hundreds of characters, places and events from the writer’s entire life.

Memoir Writing can also be written chronologically, but it can also be structured creatively, similar to novels. Memoir writing is about drawing upon life stories and memories and focusing them into a memoir – usually upon a particular subject and the impact it had on the writer’s life, eg:

  • a war veteran and how he or she survived during and after a war
  • growing up with hippy parents, living life on the road
  • living in a small community in a minority race and the effect this had on adult life
  • generations of a family living in one particular house and the transitions brought about over time
  • the impact of the death of a child on family life
  • the struggle through a particular illness and how it altered and changed a life
  • travels alone around the world, and how this shaped a life
  • growing up on a cotton farm in southern USA in the ’60’s

So in essence, the man on the street probably has one autobiography – the entire story of his/her life, in contrast to memoir, whereby we have many life stories to share, and therefore, many memoirs to write.

From my workshop experiences many writers start out by thinking their memoir will be focused on a person they really admired, the life of their grandmother or father for instance. What this person did, where they went and what they achieved.  It is important to note that while writing a story about your father and his life achievements is a worthy concept, this is not memoir writing – it is biographical writing. It is a life story about someone else – not you. 

On the other hand, if you want to write about the influence your father had on your life – from your perspective, and the impact he had on your life and the decisions you made or did not make because of him – than that is memoir writing.

Likewise, if any of your siblings wrote their memoir on the same subject matter – the influence your father had on their life – it would be a competely different story to yours, it would be about their life, and the influence your father had on it – from their perspective.

Memoir Writing Courses – The Memoir Writing Club

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