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Memoir Writing for Dummies


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1 Part I: The First Steps to Writing a Memoir 7 Chapter 1: The Lowdown on Memoir Writing: Just the Basics 9 Chapter 2: Getting Started: What You Need to Know about Writing Your Memoir 17 Chapter 3: Understanding What Readers Expect: The Story Behind a Good Story 35 Chapter 4: Researching and Remembering: Gathering Enough Material 47 Chapter 5: Developing Ideas like the Pros 61 Part II: Telling Your Story with Pizzazz 75 Chapter 6: Giving Your Story Some Structure77 Chapter 7: Establishing the Setting and Scene 93 Chapter 8: The Character of Characters 111 Chapter 9: Making the Most of Dialogue 129 Chapter 10: Realizing the Power of Voice 153 Chapter 11: Handling Point of View 165 Chapter 12: Bold Beginnings and Fantastic Finishes 179 Part III: Revising, Editing, and Pushing Your Story to the Next Level 193 Chapter 13: Adjusting the Big Picture: Fine-Tuning Structure and Story 195 Chapter 14: Ensuring the Theme and Meaning Are What You Want 207 Chapter 15: Making Revisions 221 Chapter 16: Streamlining Your Story with Sentence-Level Edits 231 Chapter 17: Saying the Unsayable: Knowing What to Include or Exclude 251 Part IV: Sharing Your Story: A Publishing Primer 263 Chapter 18: Locating and Landing a Literary Agent 265 Chapter 19: Making Sense of Traditional Publishing and the Submission Process 281 Chapter 20: Going It Alone: Self-Publishing and E-Publishing 299 Chapter 21: Promoting Your Finished Product (and Yourself) 317 Part V: The Part of Tens 333 Chapter 22: Ten Myths about Memoirs 335 Chapter 23: Ten Reasons Memoirs Are Rejected 341 Chapter 24: Ten Tips to Writing Your First Book 347 Index 353

About the Author

Ryan G. Van Cleave, PhD , is the author of 20 books, including creative writing textbooks, an illustrated humor book, a young adult novel, and a bestselling memoir.?He lives in Sarasota, Florida, where he works as an international speaker, a freelance writer, and the creative writing coordinator for The Ringling College of Art + Design. He has taught memoir writing at numerous universities as well as at prisons, community centers, and urban at-risk youth programs.

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