Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Book Review: Complete Idiot's Guide To Writing a Memoir

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing a MemoirThe Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing a Memoir by Victoria Costello

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to books. Anything that first insults my intelligence and then proceeds to teach me about something is not likely to end up on my bookshelf.

That said, I received a copy of this book to review, and who hasn't dreamed of writing a memoir or some type? I know I have, so I decided to see what it had to say.

What I found was a book that is great in helping you organize your ideas, pointing out what is important, what to leave out, and of course what to put in your story! It had pointers for how to handle dialogue. I know I enjoy well-written dialogue, but if it's not well written, I tend to skip over it. This is true not only for memoirs but for any book I read! There were suggestions on how to recreate a conversation that may have happened decades ago.

Of course there is basic writing tips such as plot and structure, as well as information on self-publishing, and even legal issues that can arise. (Thinking of writing a tell-all about your family? Might want to think again if they are still alive because it could be a lawsuit waiting to happen, but this book addresses the stickier issues you may not have considered.)

The quick prompts would be great for those who have less of an idea where they are going with their book. With the book I would like to write someday, I have it somewhat structured in my mind and they weren't as helpful to me. I did, however, find myself taking notes and jotting things down as they came to mind that I hope to add to my manuscript.

Overall, this is an excellent book and one I would recommend to anyone who is thinking of writing a memoir, even if it is just to give to your grandchildren!

FTC disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. In no way did that influence my opinion of the book.

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