"Life Unscripted" : Forum : Need some advice, I guess....

Need some advice, I guess....

12 Years Ago

I have been encouraged to write a book about, or based on, my experiences as a foreigner living in the Philippines.

I have found success writing for a newspaper here -- I now have my own weekly column, for instance -- so I am more optimistic about writing a book than I have been. There's just one problem: I've gotten so used to writing within strict deadlines and word limits that I seem to have no clue as to how to proceed.

What I have now is a very raw set of notes detailing a sequence of events, and some characters. The notes make sense to me, and they comprise enough material for a nice long story, but .... what should I do next? Should I just go ahead and write the damned thing and shop it around in completed form (after it goes through three or four rewrites of course, as is my habit)? Or should I, as one person suggested, develop an outline/synopsis and show that first?

And one other thing: except for compressing some periods of time and changing some names, it's all true, but it will probably read like fiction. So what's better? A memoir or pretend it's a novel?

Somebody give me some opinions. You need to know how to spit out 1,000 words on the economic impact of the weakening dollar in under 45 minutes, I'm your guy. But in this new realm, well, I could use some help.

[no subject]

12 Years Ago

I am a grad student majoring in creative nonfiction...also, you need to know I am newborn writer...as an undergrad my only focus was on literary theory & criticism...until one day I was forced to write something (please note the word forced)...first attempt, published and won creative nonfiction award...thought it was a fluke...second time around same thing happens...I was then approached to pursue my "God given talent."

I am applying fiction technique to the memoir I am in throws of writing and I have some awesome writers overseeing my progress...hopefully my back to the basics organized approach helps you...first step, I wrote myself a synopsis to narrow my focus...second step, I wrote my introduction to let the reader know what I wanted them to know and to make them familar with "why" I am writing...third step, I created a framework for myself, keeping with my subject I then split my memoir into 3 chapters (Ch. #1 present, Ch. #2 childhood, Ch. #3 leads up to very first page of Ch. #1) this is where I applied all the notes I had and got rid of anything that didn't belong...plus when I have spurts of thought I have a place to put it.

mine is beginning to read like a novel, but it is a memoir...if you want to stay with truth just let your readers know that you have changed a name to protect the innocent...just be honest...if you want to fudge the story by using your imagination and research then by all means don't label it a memoir.

since I am right smack dap in the middle of earning my MFA, I hope what I am learning and applying to my own writing helps you in your process...if you need anything just give me a hollar.  GOOD LUCK in your endeavors!