Everybody has something to say. In an age when Twitter, blogs, and Tumblrs give millions the chance to write whatever is on their minds, it seems that we're finding plenty of avenues in which to share it. How, then, do we write what is worth saying? How do we record our important memories so they'll be remembered? How do we tell our personal stories the way they deserve to be told?
In keeping with successful earlier editions of Writing from Within
, Selling has stressed the idea that personal writing is a means to personal understanding. Learning to write well starts with the subjects we know the best--ourselves. To write life stories, writers explore vivid memories and re-engage with the perspectives of their younger selves. They learn to harness their inner critics and deal with fear. They use their creative drive to remember details from their most significant memories. The process of life story writing is as much one of self-discovery as it is one of nostalgia.
These emotional connections to memories provide the backbone for Selling's writing instruction. In this 25th anniversary edition of Writing from Within
, the original lessons of life story writing are included and significantly expanded upon. Readers are given guidance on finding their earliest memories and on remembering details vividly. Writing instruction is offered to accompany this process and ensure that readers' life stories are full of clear, accurate memories.
The core focus of the book is on unlocking memories and writing them as life stories. However, this Anniversary edition also provides substantial new material on:
Story pacing techniques
Strategies for subtly adding exposition and denouement
Revealing and unraveling character
Writing stories within stories
Developing unique voices within the same story
Researching and writing family histories
Expanding life story writing into novels or screenplays
Advanced steps like creating visual motifs, employing sub-text, and separating the writer from the central character
Draft samples will show readers how their life stories will grow using the Writing from Within method. Excerpts from past students' life stories show the potential of the method. Personal notes to readers keep them on track and their goals in perspective. Writing from Within: The Next Generation
invites readers to find their voices and helps them along the way to doing so. As much a tool for personal reflection as a guide to writing instruction, the book represents a comprehensive discussion of the creative process. Writers, new and old, will write with more skill, understand themselves and their characters better, and be able to turn their life experiences into art.
So, learn to harness your inner critic. Construct your own writing process. Open the door to your past. Give the characters voices. Breathe some life into your story and leave something so future generations can get to know you.
About the Author
Educated at the University of Michigan with an MA in English literature and art history, Bernard Selling taught English and humanities at the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. After returning to civilian life, he received an MA in film and theater from UCLA, then made short films for the following decade during which he also studied acting, directing, and writing with Lee Strasberg and Jack Garfein. He has produced films from stories by major American writers and produced and directed several documentaries.A creative writing teacher by profession, Selling's first book, Writing from Within: A Unique Guide to Writing Your Life Stories, was published by Hunter House in 1988 and has sold over 65,000 copies and is now in its third edition. He is also the author of In Your Own Voice, a students' guide to developing writing techniques and skills. Subsequent books include Character Consciousness, The Art of Seeing, as well as two novels of intrigue set in the Italian Renaissance, The Duke's Musician and Predators.Bernard Selling has taught "Writing From Within" workshops to teachers, writers, older adults, adults in recovery and those seeking greater self-awareness. He has also taught composition and literature at Loyola Marymount University, West Los Angeles College, and UCLA Extension. He lectures in the United States and Europe, and has taught his writing techniques to teachers along the Eastern Seaboard from New Hampshire and New York to Florida, Louisiana and Texas. He has also worked with a German Educational Foundation: the Eckenroth Foundation which nurtures young German writing talent. Selling lives in Topanga Canyon, CA.