I do not write a memoir from an outline. Instead I create a Memory List as outlined in Chapter 2 of Turning Memories Into Memoirs. The Memory List helps you to follow the promptings of the unconscious rather than the dictates of the conscious mind as is the case with an outline. (An outline is […]
Everyone should work on improving your writing. Find tips and theories about improving your craft.
Action drives your story and keeps your readers interested. Writing with effective action is a key to creating lifestories that people want to read. 1) The action of your memoir is its plot. Generally speaking, something must happen in your story to retain the interest of your reader. Some people have had roles in the […]
Writing Your First Draft Give yourself permission to write a rough first draft. Write pages and pages in which you describe the who, the what, the where and the when of the story. Later, as you rework the piece, the why will be written in.
The people in your story are your characters. It is your job to bring vivid literary characters to the attention of your readers. You must use descriptive writing to present believable characters. Without other people, our lives and memoirs risk becoming dull. Although ideas are pivotal for many individuals, relationships are even more commanding. We […]
Understanding “Life’s Failed Contracts” is necessary for going deeper in a memoir. This post is about going deeper in a memoir, deeper even than you thought you could go when you started. This may be hard, but take a look at the contracts with life we make and the terrible disappointment that inevitably comes from […]
Recalling the details of our life stories can be a challenge. Devising a Memory List is the first best thing you can do, but if you want additional ideas, here are five memory recall tips for remembering more than you might have thought possible.
One begins a memoir with a sense of the uniqueness of the story. “It simply has to be told,” you realize excitedly. “The world needs to hear about this.” Then as you write week after week, month after month, and sometimes year after year, that uniqueness sometimes seems to evaporate as you distance yourself from […]
Theme influences choices for every element in the story: plot development, characterization, and setting. Is theme important. You bet it is!
Don’t be afraid of similes and metaphors. “I don’t quite know how to describe what I’m feeling,” you might say during your writing as you grope for a way to describe in words this emotion that is beyond words.
Over editing can kill your memoir. Alter your writing approach. Stop the editor; invite the creator/artist. It will help you to write differently. Many new memoir writers come with the great big bad habit they learned over years of editing