1. Notify subjects way in advance, detailing parts that might make them wince. So far, no one has ever winced. 2. On pain of death, don’t show pages to anybody mid-process. You want them to see your best work, polished. 3. As Hubert Selby told Jerry Stahl, “If you’re writing about somebody you hate, do it with great love.” 4. Related to the above: I never speak with authority about how people feel or what their motives were. I may guess at it, but I always let the reader know that’s speculative. I keep the focus on my own innards. 5. If somebody’s opinion of what happened wholly opposes mine, I mention it in passing without feeling obliged to represent it. 6. Don’t use jargon to describe people. It’s both disrespectful and bad writing. I never called my parents alcoholics; I showed myself pouring vodka down the sink. Give information in the form you received it. 7. Let your friends choose their pseudonyms. 8. Try to consider the whole time you’re working how your views—especially the harsh ones—may be wrong. Correct as needed. 9. With your closest compadres and touchy material, you might sit with them (same house or town, maybe not same room) while they read pages that may be painful for them. 10. I’d cut anything that someone just flat-out denies. Then again, in my family, all the worst stuff was long confessed to before I started writing the first tome. 11. Let the reader know how subjective your point of view is. This is in some way a form of respect to your subjects, who might disagree.