In other news, I’m working on editing and refining my Memoir while I’m here in Hospital. I finally have time to sit under a tree (the birdsong in the hospital Courtyard is absolutely amazing) and write…or in this case, RE-WRITE my memoir chapters.
Today I had my 2nd ‘over the phone’ meeting with my Book Coach, Annie.
She set me some new homework after we discussed my answers to the previous meeting.
Here’s what I need to work on:
Think of a theme – ideally one word:
I think “Adversity” is my theme – and am concerned Annie asked me about this – I thought this was fairly obvious in my ENTIRE book. I’m a bit worried I’m missing the wood for the trees on this one, so will give it some prayer, some deep thought and maybe God will lead me to a new answer.
Think about the chapters and their titles.
I think this could definitely use some changing. I’ve named my chapters fairly obvious things “Obsession” “Unfavourite” etc…I feel like they need to be catchier somehow. Hmm.
In each chapter – think of a theme – what am I trying to say here? This should be a word or two.
Again, a bit worried about this as I thought each chapter was fairly solid in the theme of “overcoming adversity” but maybe I’m not labelling them properly? I’ll do some online research and read more…and ask questions on writing forums.
What’s the HOOK to each chapter? What’s going to draw the reader in from the get-go?
From what Stephen King has said in his Memoir – chapters should start with setting a scene/place where the event happened. He wants writers to ‘show’ and not ‘tell’ – things like “Dont write ‘it was night time‘ but write about shadows, lights being on, the eery feeling of the darkness…etc”. I’ll have to work on this as I wrote each chapter chronologically, really. I start each chapter with where I either met a particular person or at the beginning of a situation that goes south quite quickly and I have to navigate out of it. I need to work more on the opening sentences to my chapters and HOOK THE READER from the first few words. Hmm. So much to research on this one.
Think about scenes – should have 3-5 actual scenes that support the theme and support whatever it is my chapter is trying to say.
I downloaded “Memoir writing for dummies” and the Author talks about ‘writing in beats’ and that each ‘beat’ (paragraph/scene) in a chapter should be telling the reader something important – ‘beats’ should be making a point. I struggle with this as I want to tell the reader in my own way what’s happening – as if I’m talking casually to a friend about it – but apparently that’s not what’s going to sell copies…so again, I need to work on that.
Sooo frustrating. OMG.