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Friday, June 07, 2013

Memoirs: 2 Common Pitfalls

Writers new to memoir often have trouble with two areas, writes Debra Gwartney in an excellent post on her blog.

1) The “I” is largely undeveloped. We may be better acquainted with other characters in the piece, but we don’t quite know what to make of those characters because they’re not doing enough to reveal the narrator “I” to us. The central stakes in a memoir relate to the person called “I,” and “I” alone. . . .

2) . . . Many times new writers will turn in memoir pieces that they (the students) believe include scenes. But they haven’t written a scene. They’ve recounted a scene.