Writing What You Know: part 2

There is no denying that at the center of memoir is an unreliable narrator. As I wrote yesterday,”Working with memory is even less faithful than fiction. There is nothing to google or investigate. Sure I can ask a brother or two, but I don’t remember any of them standing with me in that short hallway between the kitchen and my father’s den.” In memoir you stand alone, even if the subject of your work is the whole lot of you, you have only yourself to corroborate with.

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As I plunge further into my own murky and dark past I have only my instinct to rely on; here the tenants of fiction and non-fiction collide, for they are both born of the creative spark that ignites my fingers across the keyboard. Beyond that they deviate.

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Write What You Know

There is an old adage, “write what you know,” that has been sounding away in my mind. Not that I ever try to write what I don’t know, but sorting out what story is the story to tell, the story that rolls around in my mind, and has, for years, isn’t always a direct line. To coax it into being I thought to set up a new writing area in my bedroom, away from the kitchen and living room, which although might be perfect blogging spots, tend to distract when one needs more concentrated concentration. To aid the process we carried in a table from my grandmother’s summer home stored in the garage attic. This, I reassured my timid self, is a starting point. And with that I started writing.

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