Thursday, October 21, 2010

Notebook: Effective Memoir

What happens to the notes that you take at all the ba-jillion writing conferences/talks you attend? If you’re like me, they sit around, unlooked at for years. I’ve decided to spend the week digging up some of those notes and pulling out some nuggets. These are paraphrased (not direct quotations), attributed as closely as I can, considering I’m pulling them from scribbled notes.

From AWP 2008, a panel called “Truth Is Fiction, Fiction Is Truth”; inexplicably, I didn’t write down the names of any of the panelists…oops!

“the” truth vs. “my” truth

Obligation of voice: not to “sound” like anything (i.e. quirky) but to make deeper and deeper sense of things; a penetrating attention to experience

The “literal facts” of memoir are not the point—the point is the self-discovery taking place in the narrator

The memoirist’s obligation is to make sense; credit is to the art, not the life


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.