Writing in Vignettes Can Generate a Book Length Memoir — 12 Comments

  1. Marilea, your vignettes in Sheila’s newsletter wept with emotion. My heart literally ached as I read them. Thanks for sharing these and the idea of a vignette structure that worked for you. I understand and confirmed in your book that you published through She Writes Press. I’m considering them for my debut novel. I’d be happy to have a personal exchange about SWP through email. I can be reached at Thanks Marilea!

    • Thank you, Rhonda. I’m glad my writing affected you in that way. Many of my readers have said the same thing. I’ve always joked that writing is my best therapy. Anyway, yes, I published with She Writes Press last summer. I’ll send you an email with more specific information. And thanks for stopping by here.

    • Rhonda, You might be interested in the short story collection Take Daily As Needed by Katherine Trueblood. If you search for it in WIR articles you will find an article I did featuring it and the author. It is composed of related short stories and the author says it is her most autobiographical nove. Kind of a relative to a memoir in vignettes.

  2. I love this style of writing for memoir and Abigail Thomas is a favorite of mine.
    This is beautifully laid out like bits of conversations with loved ones and others.
    Thank you!

    • Thank you, Sally. Breaking my long story down into emotional and easily readable vignettes worked for me this time. I was inspired by some masters, and just let the pen spring to life!

  3. Hi Marilea and Sheila- I’m leaning toward lyric essay or vignette structure for my memoir in progress. Thank you for the inspiration!

    • Hi Mary Ellen, glad the article was instructive. With my first memoir, I was pretty consumed with content. But with this second go-around at telling very much the same story, I paid as much attention to how I told it as the story itself. Sheila, a gifted poet herself, helped me mine some creative writing skills that made the book more enjoyable to read. And, of course, she led me to the vignette structure, which made the book easier to read. A win-win all around.

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