“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”~Confucius, Chinese philosopher
Today’s memoir writing tip: Don’t begin with backstory.
Perfect advice as I rewrite my Star Trek MomMemoir. The annual Las Vegas Star Trek convention begins in two weeks, and I need to be ready with my updated short memoir.
That’s what I’m calling my book these days. The current version is just under 6000 words. My writing groups have bantered the definitions of “flash fiction,” “creative memoir,” “short story,” “novella” and “book.” These discussions are not just about the technical, official writer vocabulary, but also what is generally perceived by the public. What are the readers getting themselves into?
My short memoir about the trip Mom and I took to Las Vegas to see Star Trek: The Experience is the perfect tie-in to the sci-fi convention. The event’s timing caught me by surprise, so when I sat down to tweak my current 2013 book for marketing, I realized how much more vibrant I could make it. The book started with an info dump and backstory.
I’m following the iconic advice: start in the middle of action. I put what I feel is the pivotal moment that changed my entire perception of Star Trek right there as Sentence One. It was previously at the top of Page 3. Today’s Memoir1 critique group gave me more advice to help me with focus and description, which is good because I plan to (re)publish my book this Sunday night.
This whole thing–from writing to rewriting to marketing–has put a kink in my ROW80 Round 3 goals, yet at the same time, surprisingly, strengthens them.
1–Craft a succinct 30-second book elevator speech.
This goal had my DadMemoir in mind, but I wrote a one-sentence summary of my MomMemoir for the Montclair Write Group today: “This is my short memoir about my mother and I bonding through science fiction, how I fell in love with Star Trek, and the distances we would go for that love: Las Vegas.”
What do you think?
2– Continue my 17 Writing Outlets in 2017 and follow through.
I’m putting this on hold until August, giving me time to focus on promoting my (new) book and to continue cleaning and unpacking our house.
3–Fine tune a regular social media schedule.
The middle of writing mania is a good test of my first outline:
Monday–Email, home stuff
Tuesday–Write, focus on memoir/books, print out copies for biweekly critique group
Wednesday–Write blog posts, do social media
Thursday–Email, read blogs, reply to my blog comments
Friday, Saturday and Sunday are still under construction
4–Catch up, let go of and/or publish old blog posts.
I’m struggling with this. Deleting half-written blogposts is like tossing my precious work words and time in the trash.
5–Catch up on email.
Right now, Monday and Thursday are email days.
6–Schedule weekly Myself-Time to review all these goals.
Fitting this in where I can this week.
7–Work on memoir and other stories.
Success here! It’s not my intended DadMemoir. but (re) publishing MomMemoir counts.