I think one of the most valuable things I learned from my screenwriting experience was how very helpful it is to really look at a good grouping of example works that deal with some of the same issues your project will have. So for the screenplay I watched John Hughes movies form the 80’s, other movies about high school, about romance, about high school romance. (I’ve looked for movies about invisible people, but there is a dearth, so as I prepare for the third draft, I’m watching movies about ghosts).
So, to get to my point, I am now working on some essays about cancer. I have books stacked so high on our side table that is a precarious maneuver to turn on the lamp. Many deal with various perspectives on healing and illness, now the medical industry works etc. But the ones that have really caught my attention, that I have actually read, and really very much enjoyed, are the memoirs. Of the three that stand out to me so far, two are graphic memoirs, Cancer Vixen, by Marisa Acocella Marchetto, and Miriam Engelberg’s Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person. The third, the product of a writer/editor who was struck by the disease, riveted me, and has me going back to it’s pages to see how it is crafted, is Katherine Russell Rich’s, The Red Devil.