Earlier this month, I posted the second installment of my "Memoir Writing 101 Series: Getting Started" for Writers In The Storm. Today comes Part 3: Different Ways To Revise Our Memoir. (In case you missed it, here’s Part 1 and here's Part 2.) Somewhere along your memoir writing path, you probably asked yourself “Why am I writing this?” As an editor, I like to follow that question with: What is your goal with writing this? What are you hoping to accomplish? Who is this really
This post could also be called: What I Wish I Knew Before I Started Writing My Memoir. This is part one of a three-part series (previously posted on Writers in the Storm on April 14th, 2021). As a nonfiction editor and writing coach, I often work with first-time memoir writers who have a story to tell and need help shaping it. These writer-editor relationships may last from six months to three years until what really needs to be said makes its way to the surface of a page. Me
When did you first decide to write about your grandfather’s story? I decided to write about my grandparents after coming across an original land real estate transaction document from 1907. It was the deed for the first and only farm my grandparent’s owned. That place was Grandpa Charly’s farm. When I met you and read your story, you had a very different book than the one we have today. How do you feel the manuscript evolved? I recall you telling me there was a story worth tel
(previously posted on Writers in the Storm on July 26th, 2020). A few months ago, my editor and translator colleague Luis Pelayo asked me, “Why aren’t more US authors publishing in Spanish?” He shared a 2019 report titled "El Español: Una Lengua Viva" (Spanish: A Living Language) from the respected Instituto Cervantes, a non-profit organization devoted to the study and teaching of Spanish language and culture. The study states that Spanish is a first language for 483 million
The Amateur vs the Prepared Writer In the first three pages of an unpublished manuscript, an editor, a publisher, or an agent can tell the difference between a novice writer and someone who is actively working at their craft. Google Docs, or Grammarly will underline problematic words, pointing them out loudly. Those are the initial “oversights” you should fix before submitting your work to an agent, editor, or publisher, aka your first serious readers. But, other words on the
There are many reasons why you should write a historical memoir. Let me share with you one story. My neighbor-turned-friend, Ed Kuehn, was born and raised in Ripon, Wisconsin. When we met, Ed was retired, enjoying his free time, and doing family research. He’d come across his grandfather’s house deed, from the early 1900s, and was investigating some names and landholdings. I was a California transplant and had moved to rural Wisconsin because of my husband’s work. Once we set
In any given month, a few writers will email me saying they want to find the perfect book editor for their project. This always prompts me to ask a few questions to see if they are truly ready, or if perhaps, a bit more homework needs to be done first. Below are eight questions I ask potential clients before we move on to a phone consultation to see if we are a good fit for each other. Know your genre, target audience, weaknesses, and budget before hiring a freelance editor.