Breathe Life into Your Life Story

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How to Write a Story People Will Want To Read

by Dawn & Morris Thurston
Amy Reeder Hadley, Illustrator
Paperback / 228 pages / 1-56085-094-6 / $22.95

Breathe Life into Your Life StoryBreathe Life into Your Life Story is an essential read for anyone who aspires to write a life story—but not just any story, one your family and others will actually WANT to read.

Written for both novices and experienced writers, this book presents techniques used by novelists to immerse readers into their fictional world—techniques like “showing” rather than just “telling”; creating interesting, believable characters and settings; writing at the gut level; alternating scene and narrative; beginning with a bang; generating tension, and more.

Excerpts from memoirs written by such pros as Maya Angelou, Frank McCourt, Russell Baker, and many others illustrate how best-selling authors have used these methods to hook their readers. Dozens of “Learn by Doing” exercises help readers practice and acquire the skills necessary to breathe life into their own stories.

Dawn and Morris Thurston

Dawn Thurston, a graduate of UCLA, teaches writing at Santiago Canyon College in Orange, California, and has helped hundreds of students write their personal histories. She has published a history of her own Scottish grandparents, and her articles have appeared in various publications. With her husband, Morris, she has developed a popular workshop on writing family histories.

Morris Thurston, a graduate of BYU and Harvard Law School, is a retired senior partner in the law firm of Latham & Watkins. He is currently a volume editor for the Joseph Smith Papers Project and an adjunct professor at BYU Law School. His biography of a great-great-grandfather, Tora Thurston: The History of a Norwegian Pioneer, won the Dallas Genealogical Society’s biography award.

Amy Reeder Hadley is a graduate of BYU, currently working on a three-part manga drama called Fool’s Gold. She got her start by placing in TokyoPop’s “Rising Stars of Manga” contest; she hopes to make graphic novels a lifelong career.