Life stories, autobiography, biography and memoir, are all recreations and discoveries of a life. A well-crafted life story shapes your diverse and colourful assortment of personal vignettes into a graceful, coherent narrative that conveys the larger story and wisdom of your life. This is what a writer does when ghostwriting life stories.
To gain work from magazines and newspapers, whether you are looking to write a feature article, profile, essay, review, travel piece, or any piece really, first you need to win the publication over with your idea – you need to pitch your story.
Life writing is much more than just a listing of facts: dates, figures, events, etc. It is the animating of a life in such a way that others are engaged, interested, inspired even. If life writing is not simply the facts, what is it that people look for in autobiographies, biographies and memoirs?
We all know what life writing is…biography and autobiography, right? I mean, there are shelves in bookstores and libraries dedicated to them, we’ve read them, we’ve watched representations of them on TV and in film, perhaps we’ve even attempted to write them. They are the record of a life, one’s own or another’s. But is it really as simple as that?
Most people will probably discover your bog through a search engine. Yes, I’m talking about SEO – three letters that can set bloggers trembling with fear. But how do you make sure that search engines find your blog, especially given SEO itself appears like a minefield to many and is incredibly competitive?
You may have gotten these yourself – a form letter trying to entice you into buying something? But direct mail marketing can be so much more than that, and can be a useful tool for you, your writing, your services, or your business.
I have just read ‘Night writing: a reading of Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis’’ by Kevin Brophy. In many ways I enjoyed Brophy’s discussion of the story more than the story itself: he suggests that writers need to immerse themselves completely in their stories, to explore meaning rather than to impose meaning, he says that stories make themselves known to a writer and demand to be written.
Travel writers can effectively borrow from fiction, using narrative techniques and literary devices to improve their non-fiction writing. Creative non-fiction is engaging as well as informative. In my critique of ‘The Year We Seized the Day’ by Elizabeth Best and Colin Bowles, I examine the techniques these authors use to sweep readers up in the story of their journey.
Continuing my exploration into travel writing, today I consider how differently men and women perceive ‘place’ and reflect this in their writing, and what abilities are required of the travel writer.
Today I am thinking about travel writing: how is it structured, what is the difference between a tourist piece and travel literature, how does travel writing blur the lines between fact and fiction and how does it borrow narrative techniques to create engaging story.