Not only do I devour memoirs, I also have written my own, and I coach memoir writers on turning their memories into manuscripts. Narrow your focus Your memoir should be written as if the entire book is a snapshot of one theme of your life. Or consider it a pie, where your life represents the whole pie, and you are writing a book about a teeny-tiny sliver.
A therapeutic experience vs. The memoir then, serves as an outlet to gather your thoughts lucidly and coherently. For the writer, this is a therapeutic experience.
But … Do not confuse this with therapy.
This audience does not wish to read long-winded journal-esque pieces which are in danger of sounding self-indulgent.
You must be hyperaware that you are not just writing for yourself, but you are primarily writing for an audience who has invested in your publication. And what is this audience looking for?
People who read memoirs wish to delve into something vivid and evocative; a text profound enough to enlighten them on experiences which they may not have undergone. So how can you avoid falling into the therapy trap? What you are writing about is a specific snippet, a specific turning point in your life, a specific memory which has affected you profoundly.
After all this is the single event that you deemed engaging enough to share with the world.
Not something you would easily forget, right? These are the sentiments you wish for your reader to be left with, months after they put your memoir down. So, these sentiments should be so vivid that your reader identifies with them and the complexities these emotions bring.
Follow this simple rule: If your memoir is about overcoming illness then would, for example, recounting an argument you had with your best friend about her lack of punctuality be entirely relevant to the situation you are conveying?
What this means, then, is that you will have to skip forward months, or even years in your written memoir in order to deliver only the aspects which are conducive to the wider message you are trying to convey to your readers.
Memoirs are distinct as they underplay chronological dates and times which novels, short stories and even autobiographies rely so heavily on.
Of course, our lives are not comprised of solitary, isolated bundles of experience. Rather, the repercussions of our life choices and events all form threads which bind together to create experience. The single contained nugget of your life you are writing about will of course have implications on other aspects of your life too.
It is understanding the turning points i. So, how does one avoid chronology in memoir writing? The answer is simple. When you begin writing your memoir, think about the events which are most incongruent and distinct in your memory in relation to your overarching theme.
In How to Write a MemoirZinsser provides some good advice: Tackle your life in easily manageable chunks. In some respects, writing memoir requires the writer to lie by omission.
This just means that you omit details which, while true, are disengaging and add nothing to the overarching theme.
Feb 03, · How to Write a Memoir In this Article: Brainstorming Your Angle Creating Your Masterpiece Polishing Your Work Community Q&A A memoir is a way to touch at the heart of emotion and allow it to be shared with others%(). 12 thoughts on “ The Key Elements of Writing a Good Memoir ” whatsay January 3, at am. This is indisputably one of the best pieces I’ve ever read on organizing memoir before starting to write. Thank you. Thank you. And, yes, thank you. Jun 13, · "But mostly think about who you are today and how you got that way," says Roberta Temes, PhD, psychologist and author of How to Write a Memoir in 30 Days. "Maybe you want to .
Even easier, is ignoring our own flaws and faults when re-examining our pasts. By doing so, however, the memoir is at risk of sounding extremely biased and in some cases self-pitying. A great example of this is Bill Bryson and his travel memoirs. Without meeting Bryson, we know through reading his travel memoirs that his views of the world — though poignantly reflective — are underscored by a wry acerbity and light-hearted disdain.
If you keep your voice, and personalize your story, then your readers will no doubt follow you on the journey you take them through your memoir. What do you believe makes a great memoir?Though the memoir is a popular genre in publishing, it's much harder to learn how to write a memoir.
In this post, we turned to bestselling ghostwriters to show you what it will take to write a compelling memoir that strangers will want to read. It should go without saying that you write a memoir in the first-person. And just as in a novel, the point-of-view character is the one with the problem, the challenge, something he’s after.
And just as in a novel, the point-of-view character is the one with the problem, the challenge, something he’s after.
How to Write Your Memoir. a new book from Reader’s Digest For a quick, fun, and easy guide to writing a personal memoir in just one month.
Write a short letter to a writer you admire and ask for one specific piece of advice to help you with your memoir. Doing this the old pen-and-paper way versus email is . You need to feel free to write about the uncomfortable truths, and unless your motive for writing is revenge, you may find that these moments of discomfort are mostly your own.
Writing memoir is a way to figure out who you used to be and how you got to be who you are. Memoir Your Way: Tell Your Story through Writing, Recipes, Quilts, Graphic Novels, and More [The Memoir Roundtable] on barnweddingvt.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A new approach to family and personal memoirs that includes many creative formats.
Memoir Your Way inspires family storykeepers to create a memoir using a craft you already know or are inspired to learn to create a /5(22).