Experimenting with the Narrative Form
Written by
Nancy Hinchliff
November 2017
Written by
Nancy Hinchliff
November 2017

I started writing my first memoir around seven years ago without even realizing it. I still owned and ran my bed and breakfast, but had joined a writers site and began posting as often as I could, which was just about every day. I wrote articles on every topic I could think of. I even wrote poems...a whole slew of them. I got hooked on writing short pieces. I wrote about Johnny Depp,  how to plant   and take care of an herb garden,  and how to make Christmas cookies.  I had the attitude there was no topic I couldn't

write about. I was encouraged by all the good feedback I got from my readers.

     Then I started writing about things that were closer to me; my interest and expertise in music, my work as a teacher and as an Innkeeper, and closest of all, my family. I wrote about my mother and how she translated everything in life into something positive. I wrote about my father who was a jazz musician. And I wrote about my grandmother, who was the rock of the family. The only family I didn't write about were my daughters. They both told me they were off limits.

     When I wrote my first post about my bed and breakfast, I received a lot of feedback...all positive. Readers said they wanted more. By this time, I was more relaxed in my writing and felt extremely comfortable writing first-person narratives and publishing them online. So, I continued writing about my experiences in the bed and breakfast and started grouping them under the title, Tales from an Innkeeper's Crypt. Pretty soon I had quite a following just waiting for new tales. After a while, they started encouraging me to make a collection of all my stories.

     I thought about it. And thought about it. I wasn't completely sure I was up to it, but one day I decided I would do it; I would write a memoir of the seventeen years I'd been an Innkeeper, rewriting the basic stories I already had and adding more.  I just wrote and wrote, not paying much attention to the format. I finally ended up with around fifteen chapters, in no particular order.

     I worked on my stories for over a year and although they came together individually, I still wasn’t sure how to group them. At first, they were not grouped chronologically, and I thought maybe they would stay that way. Although most of the stories had a story arc, some did not. And I wasn’t sure I wanted to change that. The all-over narrative form didn’t seem to meet the traditional model. I wondered if I should, as the title of this post suggests, experiment with the form.

What would you have done?

Let's be friends

The Women Behind She Writes

519 articles
12 articles

Featured Members (7)

123 articles
392 articles
54 articles
60 articles

Featured Groups (7)

Trending Articles

  • How to Market Your Own Fashion Brand
  • Writing In a Voice Other Than Your Own
  • Actually Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions in...
  • …won’t be here
  • . rules & regs .
  • The Next Telephone Pole

No comments yet