Thursday, June 24, 2010

Grand Opening: The Emerging Writer Reading Room

I am so glad that you stopped by for a few minutes. This is a special day. We've already had the ribbon cutting, but pick up a piece of strawberry shortcake before you go in The Emerging Writer Reading Room. On Center Stage, you will see the first book displayed.

 I chose Sharlene Martin and Anthony Flacco's book, Publish Your Nonfiction Book, for several reasons. First of all, this book rocks. Every time I pick it up, I find timely and useful information. Second, the book has wide appeal to everyone in our community. Finally, all followers of the blog (as of the end of June) are eligible to have his or her name drawn for a free copy. (Previous book winners in 2010 are not eligible.)

So, pick up a fork and a napkin and go see what you think. I'm open to all suggestions for improvements to the room.
In case you haven't noticed, the July/August issue of Writer's Digest is on the newsstands. If your nonfiction genre' is memoir, then you really ought to buy a copy and read the feature articles. I'll give you some snippets:
On the market – "Demand for the genre' doesn't seem to be fading, so that means there's still room to break in."
On baiting the hook – "Finding your hook is about presenting your story in a marketable and interesting fashion that best displays your skill and strengths as a writer."
On floating the arc – "Back then I hadn't even heard of an arc. Now I know it's the emotional framework of a memoir.
On the rough water – "To write an effective, authentic, cohesive memoir, you'll likely need to revisit or even relive the pain you'd rather forget."
On legal torpedoes – "Your best defense is to understand – before you publish your work – the legal issues that apply when you're writing about real people: namely defamation and invasion of privacy."

 Writer's Workbook in this issue of Writer's Digest has one of the best definitions on dialogue that I've read. In Building Tension to Heighten the Stakes by Jessica Page Morrell, she states, "Dialogue is not conversation. It is conversation's greatest hits." That summarizes beautifully all the tips I've read about dialogue. Much of real world conversation revolves around mundane subjects – the weather, the traffic, a bad-hair-day - all things that can bore our readers.

My final announcement: If you plan to be in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area next month, you might want to attend the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference. This three-day conference is scheduled for July 23 – 25, 2010. The Friday night keynote address on writing memoir will be presented by Mary Karr, author of Liar's Club. Who knows, you might see me there.

 Until next time, keep writing.

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