So You Finished Your Manuscript. What now? Top 5 Books Memoir Writers Should Read!

It’s as if I’ve had a secret lover for two years and I’m introducing him to my family. Now that I have a finished manuscript, I’m sending it out to a few trusted readers. Terrifying. Next, I will send out queries to agents. I imagine this is like interviewing priests to marry myself and my beloved (although I can’t say for sure as I have never been engaged). But my love for this book goes deep, kids. All the way down. And I know courage is not the absence of fear; courage is being afraid and doing it anyway. So I keep walking forward.

Meanwhile, I am supporting a friend as she embarks on this same journey. She has a book she wants to write. Where does she begin? So, I asked her the same questions my writing coaches, the incomparable Heather Sellers and the fearless Rachel Resnick, asked of me.

-How much time can you dedicate to your writing?
-What do you feel are your greatest strengths as a writer?
-What do you feel are your greatest opportunities/challenges as a writer?
-What kind of book do you want to write?

And I tell her what books have helped me the most. Some address fiction or memoir or screenwriting but all of them taught me something I needed to know in order to become a better writer. I keep them by my desk and refer to them often.

1. Writing Fiction, A guide to Narrative Craft by Janet Burroway and Elizabeth Stuckey-French

2. From Where You Dream by Robert Olen Butler

3. Story Sense, Writing Story and Script for Feature Films and Television by Paul Lucey

4. Writing the Memoir, From Truth to Art by Judith Barrington

5. Story by Robert McKee

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Comment (1)

  1. Judy Lammers

    I am so very happy for you and your memoir! I sure would love to be one of the ‘People” reading it in advance of publishing. I know it will be published, it has too much positive energy not to be. I have waited so long for this and prayed over it and dreamed about it and longed to see my baby in print with her first book. God grant this prayer, I do love you my fairy princess, my little wanderer, my baby, mama

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