Boring parts?

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trumpetology

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Hi,

How do people deal with less interesting aspects of a memoir?

To be specific, I'm dealing with drug addiction. Most of the days are just boring, high functioning drug addict days. These I leave out completely.

But then there're the events that are necessary to frame the dramatic highlights (changing prescriptions, moving from an apartment to my mom's house) but are not particularly jaw dropping. What are some suggestions for dealing with these moments?

I've read a few memoirs lately and some seem to stay in a constant state of high-intensity action and others weave in an out. But I'm often less interested in the "filler" between events. Is this just a shortcoming on my part as a reader? Or perhaps a less than stellar memoirist?

Thanks for any views.

Nick
 

Maryn

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To me, the 'boring' parts are the time to tell instead of show. You can summarize, giving the reader vital information which leads to the good parts.

Maryn, making an educated guess
 

trumpetology

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Hi Maryn,

That's a good point. I didn't think of it that way (obviously), but yes, they are less action-based or emotional scenes that give context to the highlights. I guess it's all about making that writing as clear and interesting as possible without making it over done or purple.

Hmmm. You've given me a new viewpoint. Thanks!
 

MKrys

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I'm inclined to agree with Maryn here. If certain parts are boring, even to you, for the sake of pacing I'd definitely consider skipping over them or else summarizing them.

Of course, I'm not a memoirist and have read only a few memoirs in my life. (The Glass Castle and Some Girls, both of which were amazing!). So please take my advice with a heavy heaping of salt :)
 

Siri Kirpal

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I just summarize less interesting passages. But if the text doesn't need it, I leave it out. So, as Maryn says.

That said, it is possible to take something apparently dull and make it interesting...but you need to be really interested in it to pull that off. Don't try it if it doesn't interest you.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal
 

trumpetology

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Thanks for the thoughts. It's tough to cut out stuff you've already written, you know? Although I'm newer to writing, I have a long history as a music composer and I have to keep reminding myself that all of those rules (ie if it's mundane, change it or delete it) apply here as well.

Back to the manuscript: summarize, dele, summarize, dele...
 

dryland

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Hi- I'd personally rather not read the boring parts of someone's life, even if they are true. In my WIP I have written a few (possibly many :) ) scenes that don't hold much interest to anyone other than myself. In those cases I try to identify the core of the scene that makes it interesting to me, and see if it is an emotion, an inner conflict, a change, and then either see if I can bring that out in a different way, or perhaps even in a different scene.

In the end, thought, if a scene is boring for me to write it it will likely bore readers, and so I recommend leaving them out. (I usually know those scenes are coming up because I dread writing them and skip around avoiding that part of my outline.)
 

Red Bird

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I try to limit summary. It can pull a reader right out of the story.