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Posts tagged ‘The Tender Bar’

Tips for imagining memoir characters and events

Below are three previous blog posts with tips for writing your memoir:

Do you have a character in your memoir who needs to be fleshed out but you don’t have enough information to do so? Try these techniques:

How to Fully Imagine Your Memoir:

Deepen your memoir by imagining character thoughts and feelings

Need fresh ideas for describing your characters? Read this post:

Memoir “The Tender Bar” inspires unique character descriptions 

Memoir “The Tender Bar” inspires unique character descriptions

“The Tender Bar,” tops my list of favorite memoirs, not only because of the voice and emotional pull of the story, but for how it inspired me to think more creatively about character description in my own writing.

J.R. Moehringer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, wrote The Tender Bar about growing up without a father but with the guidance of his Uncle Charlie and a group of other men at their neighborhood bar who filled in as father figures.

Here’s how Moehringer uses cultural icons to describe Joey D, one of the men from the bar:

“…a giant with a tuft of gingery hair atop his spongy orange head, and features glued to the head at odd angles. He seemed to be made of spare parts from different Muppets, like a Sesame Street Frankenstein — head of Grover, face of Oscar, thorax of Big Bird.”

Moehringer goes on to write: “Though hulking and slouch-shouldered, Joey D had the manic energy of a small man. He speed walked, fluttered his hands, spoke in word spasms that left him winded. Like hay fever sneezes, whole sentences exploded from his mouth in one burst: Ocean’sgoingtoberoughtoday!” Read more