Book Review: The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr

I love reading memoir, and have for a long time. I’ve been reading memoir since I was a child, so naturally, when I heard about The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr, I jumped on it. Ashley from Climb The Stacks┬árecommended this, and the link goes to her video review of the book.

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Researching Your Character

As it turns out, no human being is truly original. We are all made up of a set of traits that makes us unique, but there is no real original situation. So how do you write a character who is completely unlike you in every way? For example, and this is a character we are going to workshop today, a Korean adoptee whose family is white who grew up in the northwest of the United States and has an interest in becoming a Broadway tap dancer. ┬áThese are a series of ideas that are unique to a single human beings experience. So let’s break this character down into a workable, life-like person. I have chose a bunch of characteristics that I am not. I am not Korean American, nor an adoptee. I have not grown up in a white family, nor have I grown up in the Northwest. I have no interest in becoming a Broadway tap dancer. I have chosen these characteristics to demonstrate how to write a character that you are not. Let’s get started!

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