Book Review: Writing Life Stories by Bill Roorbach

Have you ever written something you thought was profound but later realized it screamed amateur? I have, thirty years worth to be exact.

My current reading includes Writing Life Stories by Bill Roorbach with Kristen Keckler, PhD. The magnificence of this book leaves me speechless (but I’m a writer so…). The tagline only describes a portion of the contents, “HOW TO MAKE memories into MEMOIRS, ideas into ESSAYS, and life into LITERATURE.

Roorbach and Keckler provide the guidance needed to write exquisite creative nonfiction. Next to their brilliance at the craft, I am but a mere child.

I find myself devouring the words and trying the exercises. For example, I never really noticed the first lines of my favorite books, stories, and essays before. Now, I rummage through my personal library reading the first impacting sentences to see how the authors crafted them.

Another “ah ha moment” came with their version of the  “show not tell” strategy. I’ve heard and practiced different versions of this but Roorbach and Keckler take it to an entirely new level of brilliance.

Hopefully, my blog readers will benefit from this positive book review in multiple ways. One of which is reading more captivating posts in the future as I try to implement these lessons and strategies in my own writing. Make sure you buy the updated 2007 Fully Revised Second Edition.

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