“Which news events formed a backdrop to the most emotional moments of your life? How do the two stories intersect?” Tell it Slant by Brenda Miller and Suzanne Paola, pg. 61

One thing that stands out for me when reading about writing creative nonfiction, is that you have to allow your reader space to breathe. This is especially true when writing memoir. The memoir writer is sharing very personal, emotional material as well as sharing the time period and the events that surrounded the author’s life at that time.

If the author gets too intensely personal, the reader gets overwhelmed.

If the author gets too technical or is just reporting facts from research, the reader gets bored.

They key is to mix the two.

Yes, make the reader cry (or laugh or get mad), but also feed the reader something they didn’t know. I hear my professor from the MFA program saying, “Readers like to learn something new.” Good advice.

Happy writing.