Darin Strauss Shares Word-Replace Writing Trick

By Jason Boog Comment

darinstrauss.jpgToday’s guest on the Morning Media Menu was Darin Strauss, the National Book Critics Circle Award-nominated author of Chang and Eng and The Real McCoy.

The novelist explored his new memoir, Half a Life–a look at a fatal accident that changed his life forever. Strauss (pictured) spoke frankly about the book and offered advice for aspiring memoirists.

Here’s an excerpt: “If I was going to write about [the accident], I had to do it in a way that wasn’t self-justifying. For young writers who want to do that, I think one really good trick is to just to do a word replace.  Change ‘I’ to ‘he’ or ‘I’ to ‘she,’ and write about yourself in the third person. When it comes time to send it out or look at it for revisions, change it back to ‘I’ or ‘me.’ That distance can help you tell the story. I know it sounds silly, but that little trick of distance can add a lot of perspective.”