How to Write Your Hard Story Without Oversharing

memoir story Aug 10, 2020
 “Telling the truth matters even when it involves hard questions.

Showing up even when it’s difficult often gives strength for others to show up as well.”

Michele Cushatt

 

Good news! If you write nonfiction, you are already equipped with all of the raw material you need to craft a unique, interesting story.

Our true life experiences can provide the plot, the setting, and the main characters for our writing. However, not every detail of a true story is interesting or beneficial to a reader.

When writing about your own life experiences, you will have to wrestle with how much to reveal within your work, especially if your story is a hard one filled with painful circumstances, or if your story involves other people. The difficulty of deciding when, how, and how much to share of your own story can be discouraging.

At hope*writers, we know this fear of oversharing on sensitive topics can keep writers from sharing their story with readers who need...

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How to Write Memoir

memoir Aug 03, 2020

One of the most common hazards you may face as a writer of memoir is the temptation to write your story as if it’s a daily journal entry. When we sat down with memoirist and writing coach Marion Roach Smith, she reminded us that a memoir is not a diary, and recommended we consider the needs of our reader before we begin to write our story. 

As writers who lay bare the raw material of our own lives for public consumption, memoirists face a distinct challenge when it comes to deciding how to structure our work. Unlike fiction, where the plot may be shifted and shaped to suit the story, when writing about real life events, you must consider both the truth of the narrative and the needs of the reader. 

   

1. Focus on the Reader

Memoir: a record of a record of events written by a person having intimate knowledge of them and based on personal observation. (dictionary.com)

Marion would likely take issue with this over-simplification of memoir. She defines...

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3 Tips for Pitching a Nonfiction Book Proposal at a Writing Conference

book proposal Oct 29, 2019

 

We sat down with Revell Books editorial director Andrea Doering to get you the inside scoop on pitching a book proposal at a writers’ conference. Andrea has been on the receiving end of countless pitches over the course of her career at Revell, and she shared with us what makes a proposal — and an author — stand out from the rest. We’ve boiled down her wisdom to three key takeaways that you can study, share with others, or even repeat to yourself mantra-style as you walk into your next writers’ conference, proposal in hand and a smile on your face. 

 

1. Be prepared.

Show the editor that you’ve done your research. She wants to know that you’ve studied the business of writing as well as the art. One of the best ways to communicate this is with a well-researched, organized book proposal.

Maybe in the past you’ve been told to bring a one-sheet — a shiny professional printout with one sheet’s worth of...

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