Category Archives: Writing Process

Joan Didion on Personal Narrative

A dark but beautiful take on “truth” in narrative from Joan Didion in The White Album: We tell ourselves stories in order to live…We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five. We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices. [...]

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How Much Should I Edit as I Write?

In her recent piece on good confessional writing in Slate, Katie Roiphe included this note about Joan Didion’s writing process: Joan Didion, one of the most admired personal writers in American prose, said this extraordinary thing in a Paris Review interview: “When I am working on a book, I constantly retype my own sentences. Every [...]

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Good Confessional Writing Vs. Bad

Katie Roiphe gives us her 5 top musts for good confessional writing. Go here to read the whole piece, but the points boil down to: 1. Be fiercely self-critical. 2. Be honest. Or at least try to be – honesty is as slippery a thing as truth. 3. Be entertaining. 4. Write well – get [...]

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