The best part about writing guest blogs is that the opportunity allows me to enter into others' writing communities while learning more about some excellent sites that offer specialized information
In the most recent case, writer, workshop facilitator and blogger Matilda Butler, who with Kendra Bonnett co-wrote Rosie's Daughters: The 'First Woman To' Generation Tells Its Story led me to two great sites for memoir writers when she asked me to write about the following for her and Kendra's blog, Women's Memoirs:
I would love to have you write a post about your book Growing Great Characters from the Ground Up with an emphasis on why it is important for memoirists to have "great characters." Kendra and I find that memoirists frequently ignore the characters (the people) in their stories in terms of making them vivid. They often create one or two dimensional people -- something they would never do if they were writing fiction. When we teach, we talk about this contrast between fictional characters that we feel we know and real people in memoirs that are forgettable.
I sent her Why Memoirists Need to Fully Employ Character Development. She posted Part I on Telling Herstories: The Broad View, a blog by "a group of women writers sharing our passion for the art and craft of life-writing. The blog is is part of the Story Circle Network, a project started in 1997 by Dr. Susan Wittig Albert to help women share their stories and awareness for the importance of doing so:
We carry out our mission through publications, a website, classes, workshops, writing and reading circles, and woman-focused programs. Our activities empower women to tell their stories, discover their identities through their stories, and choose to be the authors of their own lives.
Matilda then posted Part II and III of my article on Women's Memoirs.
Besides offering in-person and online classes, editing services, workshops and a host of memoir-writing books and DVDs, Matilda and Kendra put together a free weekly digest of the wisdom garnered from various women's memoir blogs.
If you've got other great memoir-writing blogs to recommend, please do. It's been wonderful to watch this kind of creative, personal nonfiction burgeon as people uncover and share the unique experiences of their lives.
Thanks Matilda and Kendra.