Writing a Memoir

Write memoirs

Don't start at the beginning. When you do that, your powerful story has the best chance of influencing others. Don't use your memoirs as therapy. That book is not your diary. Don't worry too much about hurting people.

Like writing a memoir: Jeannette Winterson and Helen Macdonald | Publications

Some are reminiscent of a Lancashire infancy of faithful repression and sexually explicit discoveries; others tell of a woman's feverish attempt to balance the death of a loved one with a hawk named Mabel by taking up hawking. Jeannette Winterson and Helen Macdonald's novels look like contradictions, but they have so much in common.

In Why Be happy when you could be normal?, Winterson examined her organic mom after her adopted father's murder, while Macdonald went back to hawking, a passions that her dad had for S. as a kid. During a sell-out at Islington City Council in London, the writers gathered to discuss their advice for writing memoir that transcends the individual experiences and strikes a global accord with the reader everywhere.

A lot of people have argued that Jeanette Winterson's first memoirs were her novel "Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit", which was released in 1985, and not her "official" memoirs of 2012, Why Be happy when you could be normal", which is the name of them. As soon as The Only Fruit was released, "it went straight to the jams and tins and the bookstores everywhere and slowly found its way out, I think, through verbal propaganda," said Winter.

Both Wintersons and Macdonald's memoirs do not correspond to the sequence in which they appear; both of them sometimes flog angrily from the past into the present, in an order determined by a progressive sequence of emotion and subject matter that is not limited by a timeline. Macdonald tells Hawk about her education with Mabel in memory of her early years, her father's passion for hawking and the story of TH White, who also described hawking in his The Goshawk about it.

Jeanette Wintererson, as a lecturer, noticed a frequent misunderstanding among prospective authors: that there is a model to work with. She was unhappy with a textbook in which she wrote 13,000 words. Jeannette Winter and Helen Macdonald were talking to Alex Clark at a Guardian Live Events in London.

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