My goal was to have a complete first draft of the memoir before last weekend’s wedding, and I did that. I won’t get back to the writing project until after this next weekend, because my sister and brother-in-law are staying with me before they leave for an Alaskan cruise on Saturday.
A long project benefits from some fallow time. While I’m not writing, I’m spending time reading a really good novel by Juan Gabriel Vasquez entitled The Sound of Things Falling. Vasquez does such a masterful job of making the reader care about random characters thrown together by a shooting. I’m really in awe of his skill as a writer.
I’m also glued every Wednesday night to a BBC crime drama called Broadchurch. The drama centers on the murder of a young boy in a small English village. The tension and suspense are unrelievedly sharp, and viewers come to care very much about the lives upended by the tragedy.
I face a similar task as a writer of memoir: I have to make my future readers care intensely about the characters. There isn’t exactly a central event, like a shooting or a murder, around which my story unfolds. The underlying structure of a crime drama and a memoir are different.
I’m not exactly writing, but I am working on the project. I’m trying to figure out what will make my readers care, in the absence of some electrifying event.