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Your Life as Story 1st Trade Paperback Ed Edition
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Tristine Rainer's book is geared, as the title says, to those who wish to write autobiography. However, this book would be equally invaluable to anyone who wants to write fiction inspired from life. She tackles a lot of thorny issues that I have rarely seen covered at all by the other writing books I own - and believe me I have quite a collection! Some of these issues include how best to handle the passage of time - THE single most difficult thing I've been grappling with in my own writing - as well as knowing what to leave out of your story, the ethical dilemmas of writing about family and friends, the pain of telling the truth on the page and last but not least, story structure.
Now story structure has been flogged to death by every writing manual, most notably Robert McKee and all those other Joseph Campbell story-as-myth screenwriting formula bores. Rainer takes this one giant leap further by providing a nine-step questionnaire about your story themes and your own life story, its pivotal moments, that magically turns into a story outline. I'm not kidding, this one ingredient of the book makes it worth the money in itself.
Finally, the author has a funny, engaging writing style, peppered with brave anecdotes about her own life misadventures and an extremely useful range of examples from autobiographers throghout history including Hemingway, Anais Nin and Simone de Beauvoir plus a whole raft of others that I had never come across but will now be reading.
Trust me, you need this book!
I found the book's style to be sometimes overly chatty, especially at the beginning. But despite the fluff, all of the meat is in there, providing very useful tools to writers seeking to make a compelling story from their life experiences.
Take your time to go through this book slowly, doing the exercises in order. It took me several months. But at the end, I had a vision, an outline, and some very useful first draft material. I was finally on my way to putting together a manuscript. Follow Rainier's instructions and it will happen.
The author dispells the myth that only the "rich and infamous" can publish autobiographies. She challenges us to find the pieces of our lives which are truly unique and to present them as literature.
In summary, this book is an excellent tool not only for autobiographers but also for aspiring (or accomplished) writers and for those struggling with some aspect of their life.
Get it, work it, and share it!
[As for a previous reviewer's criticism that Rainer didn't know that Cinderella's mother died, not her father -- they both died in the story I read. There are many versions of the old fairy tails, and they all have something important to tell us.]
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was the first book I bought when I decided to write my memoir - absolutely invaluable as a guide to writing this genre.Published 1 month ago by Karen Lee
I suppose I shouldn't rate this until I'm finished, but I'm afraid I'll forget. I'm reading it, now. So far, it is the best memoir book I've ever encountered. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mary Celeste
If you're writing a memoir, this is the book you need! SOOO encouraging. Must memoirs have an arc like a novel? YES. How to figure out where your arc is? Tristine tells you. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Marla Cooper
This is a fantastic book! I find myself underlining huge passages and highlighting many more. It is the best book I've ever read on how to write about your life. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Tricia
Wonderful book that I bought for the 2nd time (used it as a text years ago in a memoir class at Rollins college in Winter Park, FL). Read morePublished 12 months ago by Happy Amazon Customer