Today on MINI VIEWS I have the pleasure of introducing you to lovely blogger, Lynette Benton. I met her through eBook author Andrea Lewis and on Twitter. Benton has years of experience with the printed word. She offers coaching, teaching, editing, and is working on two memoirs.
Sue: What do YOU feel makes for good writing?
Lynette: The ability to describe a person or situation, or pull the reader into a place with deft strokes of the pen or computer keys, always takes my breath away.
Of course, voice—or personality—is another element that attracts me to a narrative. Notice how sometimes you feel uneasy with a book, and can’t necessarily explain why? It could be that the “voice” of the narrator just doesn’t appeal to you.
Rhythm is also important. One of the aspects of Vivian Gornick’s memoir, Fierce Attachments, for example, that I like best is its varied rhythms, from her mother’s early languor to the narrator’s walks through pulsating Manhattan streets with her re-energized mother.
Sue: Can you tell us a little about your writing life? What got you started?
Lynette: Let’s just say I was the middle child in a talkative family. Writing was a route to get my thoughts across. I go into my development as a writer a bit more here.
Sue: What is the title and narrative arc of your memoir-without giving away too much.
Lynette: I’ve written two memoirs, both of which are in the editing stage right now. The first is the recent history of my family as told through its secretive (and costly) attitudes about money. It’s called My Mother’s Money.
The second, which I might fictionalize to protect the innocent and myself, is shall we say, based on having worked for eleven bosses in eleven years—in a single institution.
Sue: How do you divide your time between editing other people’s work and doing your own writing?
Lynette: The two actually feed one another very nicely. My own writing is improved by teaching creative writing and journaling, as well as from editing writers’ work.
For the most part I work on long pieces in the mornings, and client work (editing) in the afternoons. I write essays and blog posts in the evenings.
Lynette Benton is a Greater Boston writer, writing instructor, and coach. Her work has appeared in numerous online and paper publications. For writing tips, visit her web site and follow her on Twitter.
Lynette, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I’m looking forward to reading your memoirs and keeping up with your blog.
The more time I spend creating community among writers, artists, and healers, I’m finding the encouragement out there is overwhelming. If the adage, “you create your own reality” is true, I’m ready.
So many great teachers are willing to provide relief and support. Please buy their books and sign up for blogs!