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Contents copyright 2021 by Valerie Harms

What is the Real Story in your memoir; fiction or nonfiction

5 TIPS for uncovering it

Always start with a short meditation or quiet moment to improve your concentration
1 Write an anecdote from one period of the person’s life. If a memoir, choose yourself.
2 Describe in detail two memories from that time. Use all your senses — touch (fabric), hearing, smell, sight, and taste (food is SO resonant).
3 What was going on for the person at this time? What decisions was he or she facing? What transitions? What path did he or she not take?
4 Then pull your thoughts together and write a scene about this time in present or past tense. Select a point of view and establish a tone. Use action verbs. Try to avoid “was” or “there” as they are weak words.
5 Use dialogue between people that has tension or humor in it.
By now you have a chapter, maybe a short story, and can go on to the next.

If you want to send me an email about how this approach worked for you, please do. Valerie@valerieharms.com

Or we can have a phone consultation for $40.
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Article on Getting book published

In the July/August issue of the Montana State of the Arts Newsletter I have an article on how to get a first book published. Read it here (PDF at right) or at www.scribd.com.
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Mexican writers

I just came back from Tucson where my daughter teaches fiction at the University of Arizona. The UofA recently had a 3 day book celebration. My daughter said the Mexican writers were very dynamic. Check out Mexican Fiction.
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