Naked, drunk, and writing?
“Shed Your Inhibitions and Craft a
Compelling Memoir or Personal Essay”
“It’s about shedding your
inhibitions…so that you can stand
naked before the truth that lies
dormant within you. It’s abou...
Let’s go back to the 1960s…
…and my endless struggles with writing.
I went on to become an English
teacher…
…and witnessed the same struggles in
my students.
Graduate school and professional
publishing (10 books) taught me a lot
about writing.
And I wondered – why didn’t anyone tell
me this stuff back when I was in high
school and college?
It’s easy – buy low, sell high!
Yes, there’s nothing to it! Just master a
few basic concepts….
Yes, there’s nothing to it! Just master a
few basic concepts….
…or you could read this book.
Let’s get started.
“You have to expose a lot of film to get
what you want.”
“We need a lot less backstory than you
think.”
A little girl grew up in an impoverished neighborhood in
London. Her mother...
Why not
begin at the
point
where the
story starts
to get
interesting?
“Add three sentences after every
sentence you’ve already written, to see
what else is there.”
Find your voice.
“It’s you sounding so much like you, and
so unlike anybody else, that we don’t
need to see the byline to know you
wrote th...
“Successful memoirists may not know
any more than the rest of us, but they
know who they are at the moment of
writing.”
“It was as if I decided to build a house and
just started nailing boards together
without even thinking about a blueprint.”
It’s important to write a “discovery
draft,” but don’t stop there.
Your ideas need structure.
1. Decide how you changed, and make
that your central point.
2. Begin with the status quo.
Use a series of “beats” to tell us how you
arrived at the change…
Each “beat” is a step forward or
backward.
I started with high school…
…when I was so frustrated with my
writing.
I experienced more frustrations as a
teacher.
I was spending more
time correcting student
papers than they were
putting i...
Graduate school taught me a lot about
writing.
“Jean, you’re relying too
much on coordinating
conjunctions.”
“Your parag...
I learned even more when I started
publishing…
“You need to rethink
your plan for the book.”
“Jean, some of your
example...
…and editing.
“On page 3 of your
manuscript about Shaw,
you didn’t mention Shaw
once.”
“The central problem in
your nove...
I became interested in sentences…
…as conveyors of meaning.
It’s not enough to get the grammar
right.
She seemed upset about what she’d heard on the phone.
WEAK
She put down the phon...
Make sure you have the tools you need:
 epiphany
 angle
 tieback
 scene
 dialogue
 image
 detail
 voice
You can learn more about them here.
Naked, Drunk and Writing by Adair Lara
Naked, Drunk and Writing by Adair Lara
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Naked, Drunk and Writing by Adair Lara

A book review for the Winter Haven Public Library on October 21, 2015
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Published in: Education      
Source: www.slideshare.net


Transcripts - Naked, Drunk and Writing by Adair Lara

  • 1. Naked, drunk, and writing?
  • 2. “Shed Your Inhibitions and Craft a Compelling Memoir or Personal Essay”
  • 3. “It’s about shedding your inhibitions…so that you can stand naked before the truth that lies dormant within you. It’s about the intoxication that comes with the terror and beauty of being exposed and vulnerable…
  • 4. Let’s go back to the 1960s…
  • 5. …and my endless struggles with writing.
  • 6. I went on to become an English teacher…
  • 7. …and witnessed the same struggles in my students.
  • 8. Graduate school and professional publishing (10 books) taught me a lot about writing.
  • 9. And I wondered – why didn’t anyone tell me this stuff back when I was in high school and college?
  • 10. It’s easy – buy low, sell high!
  • 11. Yes, there’s nothing to it! Just master a few basic concepts….
  • 12. Yes, there’s nothing to it! Just master a few basic concepts….
  • 13. …or you could read this book.
  • 14. Let’s get started.
  • 15. “You have to expose a lot of film to get what you want.”
  • 16. “We need a lot less backstory than you think.” A little girl grew up in an impoverished neighborhood in London. Her mother disappeared when she was little, so she lived with her father and a procession of common-law wives. When she became a teenager, her parents threw her out and told her to earn her own living. She was determined to maintain her respectability and started her own business. She earned enough money to move into a slightly better neighborhood. One night she came unexpectedly into some money and decided to hire a teacher so that she could qualify for a higher-paying job.
  • 17. Why not begin at the point where the story starts to get interesting?
  • 18. “Add three sentences after every sentence you’ve already written, to see what else is there.”
  • 19. Find your voice.
  • 20. “It’s you sounding so much like you, and so unlike anybody else, that we don’t need to see the byline to know you wrote the piece.”
  • 21. “Successful memoirists may not know any more than the rest of us, but they know who they are at the moment of writing.”
  • 22. “It was as if I decided to build a house and just started nailing boards together without even thinking about a blueprint.”
  • 23. It’s important to write a “discovery draft,” but don’t stop there.
  • 24. Your ideas need structure.
  • 25. 1. Decide how you changed, and make that your central point.
  • 26. 2. Begin with the status quo.
  • 27. Use a series of “beats” to tell us how you arrived at the change…
  • 28. Each “beat” is a step forward or backward.
  • 29. I started with high school…
  • 30. …when I was so frustrated with my writing.
  • 31. I experienced more frustrations as a teacher. I was spending more time correcting student papers than they were putting in when they wrote them. The same problems kept coming back again and again.
  • 32. Graduate school taught me a lot about writing. “Jean, you’re relying too much on coordinating conjunctions.” “Your paragraph transitions are weak.” “Your paper needs a stronger opening to set up your argument.”
  • 33. I learned even more when I started publishing… “You need to rethink your plan for the book.” “Jean, some of your examples are outdated.” “Your first chapter needs to get students excited about writing.”
  • 34. …and editing. “On page 3 of your manuscript about Shaw, you didn’t mention Shaw once.” “The central problem in your novel is resolved on the second page of Chapter 2.”
  • 35. I became interested in sentences…
  • 36. …as conveyors of meaning.
  • 37. It’s not enough to get the grammar right. She seemed upset about what she’d heard on the phone. WEAK She put down the phone and walked into the kitchen without looking at me. STRONGER “The airport’s over there,” he said, pointing out the window. WEAK He pointed out the window. “The airport’s over there.” STRONGER
  • 38. Make sure you have the tools you need:  epiphany  angle  tieback  scene  dialogue  image  detail  voice
  • 39. You can learn more about them here.