I’ve talked before about collapsing minor characters in your memoir. I’ve also talked about not dwelling on details that don’t move the story along. Sometimes leaving out certain things will say more that including something you think is very important. How do you do this? Is there a good exercise for this? I’m glad you asked…
Three Word Sentence Memoir Exercise
Abigail Thomas, a published fiction and non-fiction writer teaches writing classes. One of the first exercises, a memoir prompt really, the first week is to help them define what to write about.
She tells them to take any 10 years in their life and reduce it to two pages of three word sentences — only three word sentences. She says that you quickly discover you can’t hide in three word sentences. It helps nail the story, what’s important and what isn’t — what should be included, what shouldn’t.
This is a challenging exercise but helped me focus on my memoir. You should give it a try.
Abigail has a book out called Thinking About Memoir. I order mine. You?