Writing a memoir is a way to preserve your memories and share them with others. Here are some tips to help. Instead of trying to include your whole life, it helps to choose a focus. You might write about:
Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and download free character development worksheets! I thought, I lived this story. It was as if I decided to build a house and just started nailing together boards without giving a thought to blueprints.
I put up some strange-looking houses that way, in the form of inert drafts filled with pointless scenes.
I would have saved myself a lot of time if I had drawn an arc. Once you have your arc, you stop banging your head on all those overwhelming questions that come with writing from real life. Where should the story begin? Where should it end? You learn not to lose the thread of your story by cramming in everything that happened—the trip to Alaska, the love letters, the musty apartment you rented before you got the house.
When you have an arc, you already know what must be dramatized in scene and what can be dealt with more quickly in summary.
The Desire Line The first step in drawing an arc is to answer this question: In her book on writing memoir, Your Life as Story, my friend Tristine Rainer calls this the desire line. The struggle to achieve the desire drives the book.
You might have heard fiction writers call it the through line. You should be able to state the desire line in a sentence: I wanted to be a psychiatrist. I wanted to stay in the police department. I wanted to love my stepson. I wanted to make a new life in Uganda after the death of my wife.
I wanted to be a model though I weighed pounds. Keep in mind that the desire line can change by the end of the memoir. For example, a teen author might begin by chronicling the methodical engineering of his own destruction, but end by deciding he wants to live.
The desire line must be one that makes the story about you. In my case, I had to keep searching until I found the right desire line: Actions and Obstacles Once you have the desire line, you can lay out the events of your book. What did you do to get what you wanted? What got in your way?
Begin planning your story arc by jotting down a list of actions and obstacles: In your memoir, remember that you are the action hero.
You try a lot of different things to solve your problem, with mixed results. For this reason, the obstacles in your book are just as important as the actions.
Obstacles are often external: Even more interesting to the reader, however, are the internal obstacles: After all, we all do, right?The Beginner’s Guide to Planning and Writing a Memoir.
by Brooke Warner. December 11, Structure, theme, and takeaway are foundational elements of memoir. Great examples of structure. The same should be true with good memoir: introduce the reader to your world.
50 Amazing Examples of Short Memoir Essay Writing The best examples of memoirs and personal essay writing from around the net. Short memoirs by famous essay writers Life. Scars by David Owen The Same River Twice by David Quammen.
30 more great articles about life. Death. 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. Real Life Stories: Examples of Memoirs: Read through our library of Featured Memoirs written by people just like you!
The First Moment of The Sixties By: Joseph Duffy Good Old Days Magazine remembers the best of times from the turn of the century on up through the '50s and all straight from the heart.
Written by our readers, each new. As you learn to In this article, we’ll look at how to write a memoir step by step. However, like all good essays, a memoir begins with some pre-writing tasks. However, like all good essays, a memoir begins with some pre-writing tasks.
How to Write a Memoir A memoir essay refers to a recounting of your life story, based around a specific focus, or a particular event that occurred in your life.
Usually, there is a certain theme to the memoir, such as a specific topic you wish to discuss, related to specific memories from your past.