on Jane Friedman:
Today’s guest post is by author and nonfiction writing coach
After 20 years of teaching writing, I continue to be amazed at the transformation that occurs for writers of memoir. The process of sifting through the pivotal events of one’s life to shape them into a cohesive narrative enables writers to step into their power at a deep level. At the same time, writing about your life can be challenging. What do you include and what do you leave out?
A compelling memoir must be shaped. That’s why I encourage my clients to clarify their narrative arc before they start writing. Otherwise, it’s too easy to go down the rabbit hole—and waste weeks, months or even years of writing time.
Here are five steps to help you build a compelling narrative arc for your memoir. Let’s start with the most important step: clarify your story’s scope.