Writing Memoir Together: A Roundtable Approach Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
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Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

Author and education consultant Tornow (Link/Age, 1997) presents a thorough guide for aspiring memoirists. Everyone has a story, but not everyone thinks theirs is worth telling—in part, perhaps, since they don’t know where to begin. Enter Tornow, who helps would-be writers put pen to paper. Tornow maintains that a memoir is all about documenting one’s life; whether for possible publication, chronicling a family’s legacy or simply to delve back into long-forgotten memories. She encourages her students (and readers of this book) to, quoting the author Anaïs Nin, “taste life twice,” by sharing their stories. Other writers, both renowned (Frank McCourt) and lesser known (like Tornow’s students) make their way into these pages, contributing inspiring quotes or excerpts that support brainstorming techniques, making the content both relatable and inspirational. Tornow pairs her own work and anecdotes with various other practices, such as clustering, which utilizes a “nucleus word or phrase” to generate free-association inspiration—a great way to overcome writer’s block. Each chapter also contains group exercises, suggested topics to spur ideas, Internet resources, comparative reading, and a weekly challenge. These tools provide a handy road map for someone seeking a way to get started. Like most homework, these assignments improve a writer’s craft. While the book is aimed toward those working in a group setting (and Tornow strongly advocates the collaborative process), the methods outlined work equally well for a solo diarist. Tornow also takes time to warn against the pitfalls of creative nonfiction, such as novelizing events à la James Frey or “telling” rather than “showing. As Tornow says, “I add these details to a scene because they bring it alive, not because the scene came to me with the precision of a digital video.” A well-structured, efficient way for both beginners and more experienced writers to explore writing about their lives.

About the Author

Joan Tornow, Ph.D., is an award-winning author who has taught memoir writing at universities, libraries, and other locations in the U.S. and abroad. She facilitates workshops and retreats and maintains the website www.writingmemoir.com Joan lives near Seattle with her husband, John, and their border collie, Toby.

Product details

  • File Size: 1309 KB
  • Print Length: 153 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1463573987
  • Publisher: Ink Lake Publications (August 5, 2013)
  • Publication Date: August 5, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EV87HYE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,970,046 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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