How important is theme in a memoir? Theme in a memoir is absolutely important! Here’s is a distinction between a family-focused autobiography and a memoir that, I hope, will help you to appreciate the value and the role of theme in a memoir.
Author Archive | Denis Ledoux
Point of view in a memoir can cause a major problem
In 1996 and 1997, I composed about 200 pages of a memoir of my high school years and then it wasn’t going anywhere more than where it had been—mired in facts and details with no spirit.
I merely stored it in various computers for years.
In the fall of 2013, I completed my mother’s memoir (We Were Not Spoiled). Because I was looking for a writing project I might devote myself to next, I picked up the high-school memoir. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
Word usage for the memoir writer
Every once in a while, I send you a few of my verbal pet peeves. Here are a few other unfortunate phrases that have come my way recently. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
Why not continue to write your memoir today?
—Phil Cousineau in Stoking the Creative Fires
The Phil Cousineau quote above ought to be for all of us a stirring call to continue—or to begin if that is where we are at—the writing we may have procrastinated about for so long. We fill our days with lesser tasks when we know that what we ought to be doing is writing a memoir.
It is later than you think. In the twenty-five plus years I have been doing this work, I have seen people die without writing their memoir and I have seen people grow old and lose the energy to write their memoir.
In both cases, a lifestory has been lost.
[Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
How a “one true sentence” can save your memoir
I have found the “one true sentence” to be very effective in focusing both my own memoir writing and in the writing of people I have coached and edited. Hemingway’s one true sentence is an effective tool for better writing. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
Becoming a disciplined writer is a practice.
Do you struggle with becoming a disciplined writer on a regular basis and do you wish you could be more focused? Do you ask yourself, “Why is it so hard to write when I really do want to write?” [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
Fear of insignificance may be a BIG writer’s block
From my own memoir-writing experience and from witnessing the creation experience of memoir writers I have coached, I have found it useful to work with a subcategory of fear as a writing block. Many of us have been silenced by the FEAR OF INSIGNIFICANCE. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
Important basics of book design
I recently received a request for printing information from a reader who asked: I am getting ready to print my memoirs. I’m using Word and trying to figure out what typeface and type size to use. Also, what are the best margins to use? Are there any sources which might provide suggestions?
When should you take a break from writing?
Writing is hard work, and there will be many times when it seems too difficult. You sit at your desk and nothing much comes. Your impulse is to get up to do something—anything—else, as long as it’s not writing! You think of the lawn that needs mowing, the closet that needs cleaning, etc.
But, stop and ask yourself if you may simply need to take a break from writing and need some physical activity, rather than avoiding the work. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
Letting words mean what they mean…
In a previous post, I wrote about using words more precisely than we often do. Specifically, I pointed out redundant usages.
Today I would like to rant about a few other phrases that have come my way recently. I call them word re-inforcers. They are like redundant words but are focused on making words mean the same thing but more acutely.