Don't Become a Slave to Chronology

Publish date:

You Don't Have to Be Famous by Steve Zousmer

The most common mistake in autobiographies and memoirs—the mistake most likely to damage the readability of your book—is becoming a slave to chronology. You dutifully grind out your report on what happened this year and what happened the next year and so on, filling in the boxes of life's calendar but losing the bigger picture and perhaps the feeling and flavor of life itself.

Image placeholder title

The success of your book depends to a large degree on your ability to see your story as something more than a procession of events, more than a daily dairy as long as your life.

What you did is only a framework for your life story. Don't mistake the framework for the substance. Events of long ago are probably not very interesting, to readers or even yourself, unless they evoke the times you're recalling, bringing them back to life and capturing their emotion and meaning.


Incite vs. Insight (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use incite vs. insight with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.


Jane K. Cleland: On Writing the Successful Long-Running Series

Award-winning mystery author Jane K. Cleland describes what it's like to write a long-running book series and offers expert advice for the genre writer.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: #StartWrite, Virtual Conference, and New Courses

This week, we’re excited to announce free resources to start your writing year off well, our Novel Writing Virtual Conference, and more!


20 Most Popular Writing Posts of 2020

We share a lot of writing-related posts throughout the year on the Writer's Digest website. In this post, we've collected the 20 most popular writing posts of 2020.


Carla Malden: Writing With Optimism and Innocence

Screenwriter and author Carla Malden explains why young adult fiction and the '60s go hand-in-hand and how she connected with her main character's voice.


Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Talking About the Work-in-Progress

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake writers make is talking about the work-in-progress.


Greta K. Kelly: Publishing Is a Marathon

Debut author Greta K. Kelly reveals how the idea for her novel sparked and the biggest surprise of her publication journey.

Poetic Forms

Mistress Bradstreet Stanza: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the Mistress Bradstreet stanza, an invented form of John Berryman.


Capital vs. Capitol (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use capital vs. capitol with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.