The Credible Character

Writing, particularly writing personal story, is an egocentric activity.  In her book, Your Life as Story: Discovering the “New Auto Biography” and /Writing Memoir as Literature, author Tristine Rainer comments that memoir is the most difficult genre to write.  Why didn’t somebody tell me that before I started writing memoir nine years ago?

One reason writing memoir is so difficult is because it is hard to write about oneself. Even people who think highly of themselves–people with inflated egos–would find it challenging to write an engaging memoir. It is awkward for even the earnest person to reveal their flaws.  Nobody wants to expose their dirty laundry.

But perfection is boing.

To have an engaging memoir, the main character, YOU, must be credible. You must find your flaws then eloquently, expose those flaws. Then mix with the flaws with the good stuff. Flaws + great qualities = credible, and really interesting, main characters.

Give your main character flaws, and you will have an entirely believable person who brings the rest of your story to life.

Your Life as Story: Discovering the New Auto Biography and Writing Memoir as Literature by Tristine Rainer

(Tarcher; 1st Trade Paperback ed edition (April 13, 1998)

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6 thoughts on “The Credible Character

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