Use descriptive language to build the world within your memoir. Dont make conclusions yourself, set it up so that the reader can. Your secondary characters should be realistic and not all good or all bad. Your prose should flow. Hearing the words helps you identify unnatural sentence structure. Should you name names? I recommend that you err on the side of caution when it comes to using real names in your memoir. In her post entitled Memoir: do i use Their real Names?, nomi Isak shares sage advice: Image courtesy of la editors and Writers Group She suggests that before publishing a memoir, consult an attorney.
M: Writing selling, your Memoir : How
The beauty of your story writing is in its brutal and vulnerable honesty. Its okay to be human. In grey fact, its required when writing a memoir. By avoiding or decorating the truth, youre cheating the reader. Plus, they probably know youre lying anyway—and thats when youll lose them. Follow the rules of Fiction. Start in the middle of the action, not from the beginning. Dont waste time detailing boring demographics like your age or gender—that will come as you continue the story. Employ the use of flashbacks. Heres where you share necessary information with your reader. Your memoir doesnt need to be a linear re-telling.
While you may lament something you didnt do, the story is in what you did do and what you now know thanks to the passing of time. Have a target Audience, not everyone will enjoy or be drawn to your memoir, and thats okay. Youre not trying to reach every person in the world, just those who need to learn or be encouraged by your story. Write for that target audience as if youre speaking directly to them. Be brutally honest, vanity can kill your memoir. In a vain guaranteed attempt to make yourself look better, you may be tempted to share things that never even happened. You know, stuff like writing witty retorts that you wish you said at the time (but didnt).
Perhaps you learned: never compare yourself to others. Be kind whenever possible. Never take no for an answer. Intuition can save your life. You create your own destiny. Theres humor in the small things. Its never too late to live the life youve always wanted. What plan lesson jumps out at you when you think about a key event in your life?
Start from the End First, itching to write, but not sure where to begin? Some memoirists find it helpful to start from the end first. For example, youre now working in your dream job (thats the end). How did you get there? Or, youve finally adopted your child (the end what started this journey? What is the moral of the story youve chosen as your memoir? What was the lesson you learned from living this part of your lifes story?
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If not, edit accordingly. But dont ram your lessons down the retrolisthesis readers throat. Always err on the side of subtilty. Instead of a bullhorn, your takeaway should be a subtle whisper in the wind. Choose a specific event, as we discussed earlier, memoirs arent a collection of stories that compose your entire life. Instead, a memoir targets one event. What will that event be for you?
I know it can be overwhelming to choose just business one event in your life. Isolate the top five or six events that have occurred in your life so far. Which one has the great opportunity to tell a compelling story? You may not know the answer to that until you start writing. I recommend writing two to three paragraphs about each of these events. Whichever one you find hardest to stop writing about is the winner.
Autobiographies are generally reserved for famous people, although anyone can write one and have it be a success. The requirement for a strong autobiography is a life thats out of the ordinary in some way, whereas a memoir can be about an ordinary existence told with profound insight. Your Memoir is Not About you. Instead, your memoir is about the lesson youve learned and can share with others. People will get bored hearing about you. Its the book equivalent to being on a date with someone who drones on and on about himself.
Instead, folks read your story to see human truths that they can use to make sense of their own lives. Spend a lot of time thinking about the key takeaways from your story. In fact, before you set out to write your memoir, jot down what youve learned from this event. Just a few bullet points will do the job. Then put it away and dont look at it until youve completed the first draft of your memoir. Now, look at what youve written and see if the lessons youve learned are clearly presented in your memoir.
Writing Prompts to get your Life Story Started
A memoir or an autobiography? While theres a lot of debate between the two, i follow this simple definition: A memoir usually revolves around one or maybe even a series of memories. It is rarely ever all-encompassing. It focuses on one seminal event that changes the course of that persons life. Its heavily thematic, meaning that theres usually one subject. Often this is the moral,. An autobiography, on the other hand, spans ones entire life, starting at birth. Autobiographies usually juggle multiple themes. Theres not just one lesson learned, but many.
We can journey together as you learn to capture and record your unique stories). Planning on writing a memoir, but not sure how to go about it or even if you should? You dont have to be famous or infamous to write a memoir that engages an audience and shares a powerful truth about life. You simply need to be willing. The rest is all technique—and we can help with that. Lets start off by discussing the basics and then well delve into actionable tips you can use evaluation to craft a memorable memoir. Weve crafted a list of must-read memoirs. Subscribe to receive this extra resource. Autobiography, so, which is it?
source of joy for some writers; but for other writers, the recording of memories is an act of courage. Those who sort through their memories and express them in writing are beginning an important journey. Some take that journey to reach clarity for themselves; others leave the result of their journey for posterity. Eliot says, "We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring. Will be to arrive where we started. And know the place for the first time.".
To learn about Elaine's previous book, island, a writing memoir (2005 click on, island, a memoir. For information about my coaching for personal and reflective writing, click. Writing your Own Memoir. Elaine pace may be reached by e-mail at, by phone at, or by snail mail. Box 1346, west Tisbury, massachusetts 02575. Memories 101, a unique writing method, easy Fun Success for everyone, within only a few weeks you will have chapters of your life story to share with children and grandchildren. A few words from Elaine pace, developer of the memories 101 writing method: The poet.
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Prerequisite knowledge, the workshop is most suitable for those new to memoir writing. More experienced writers are also welcome, though should be aware this is an introductory course. Bring paper and pen and expect to take notes and bring ideas business and questions too. English requirements, the course would best suit writers fluent in English. Thank you for visiting memories 101, the website. Click on the link of your choice above. For information on the author's background, click. Who is Elaine pace? To learn about Elaine's most recent book, island Home, why people come to martha's Vineyard and Why They stay (2008), click on, island Home.