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Author Archive | Denis Ledoux

The Memoir Network Evolved

How The Memoir Network Evolved

The Memoir Network evolved with thought. Its services—which are necessary for the success of writers and of the Memoir Network—grew regularly over a decade.

teach memoir workshops

My Love Story with Memoir Writing: How I Started to Teach Memoir Workshops

In October of 1988, following upon the publication of my book of short stories, What Became of Them and Other Stories from Franco America, I was asked to read from this collection of autobiographical fiction to a group of foster grandparents. It was to prove how I started to teach memoir workshops.

It seemed good marketing to present to another group of people—potential book buyers. The reading would also give me an opportunity to send in a release to the local newspaper.

I accepted the invitation, but not without some hesitation. Might this group be too small?

Mary, the woman who coordinated the meeting, had told me however that, after my book program, she was confident many people in the room—Franco-Americans themselves— would want to hear the stories and share theirs. At that time, I had no mind to teach a memoir workshop.

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what motivates you to write

What Motivates You to Write a Memoir? Joe Skinkis shares his reason

D: What motivates you to write a memoir? I asked Joe Skinkis. Here he shares how his many life experiences have impelled him to write his life stories.

I am a 75-year-old man who lives in Thailand with my 30-year-old wife. One day, we may have a child. I would like to have my child learn from my mistakes and to glean the positive aspects of my experience. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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finish writing your memoir

How to Finish Writing Your Memoir

I’ve noticed that many people who come to The Memoir Network have already been writing a while. They are not people who are  just starting out on the memoir journey. Many have already written 5, 10, 15 or more stories or vignettes. They have been writing for a number of months—sometimes even years—and are concluding that they are spinning their wheels, that they are not producing a book as they so want to do. They realize they are not on the path to bringing their memoirs to a finish. What they are doing is writing stand-along piece after stand-alone piece. Well, a stand-alone piece is not a bad goal really—wouldn’t you love to have stand-alone stories from your grandparents? It’s just that stand-alones are really just not what they want to leave as a legacy. So, how do you finish writing your memoir?

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sell your memoir

Sell Your Memoir to Your Intended Audience: 4 Tips

An important step to sell your memoir is to identify your intended audience early in the process. Your buying audience will affect what you include in your memoir and the manner in which you write it. You will likely include different material in your memoir depending on who you believe will purchase it.

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writing your first draft

5 Better Ways to Describe The People in Your Memoir 

Without other people, our lives and our memoirs risk becoming dull. Although ideas are pivotal for many individuals, relationships are even more commanding. We are intrigued with who other people are and how they function. “Who’s that? What are they doing? Where did they come from?” These are question we want answered. To write a strong story, capitalize on this interest. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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Show, don't tell about your characters

Show Don’t Tell, or Don’t Describe Your Characters–Show Them!

The old adage “Show, don’t tell!” is as true as ever. It is one technique that will always improve your writing. I admit that there is some great writing that makes a precedent for “tell,” but as a rule, “show” is more effective.

1. Your pen is your movie camera. Show Don’t Tell.

In a film, a director ( that’s you!) doesn’t have an actor go on screen to tell the audience that someone is angry. Instead, he shows the character in a scene where anger is in action. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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launching memoir teaching

Launching Your Memoir Teaching – 6 Steps To More Success

Many memoir writers secretly, or not so secretly, want to help other people to write their memoirs. Sometimes they do this informally with a friend or two, and at other times, they get a bit more organized and offer a class at a library or other institution. One thing is certain, launching your memoir teaching will take some attention.

I have taught workshops for decades and can attest to the deep satisfaction I have derived from working with writers. I have formed friendships that have lasted these many years.

If you would like to offer a memoir class here are a few tips to do so more successfully. They are garnered from sound business practices, but don’t worry as they are easy for anyone to implement.

(I have written about the curriculum elsewhere.)

1. Reconnect with people who told you they want to be in a workshop within a few days of having first spoken to them.

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create vivid characters

What everyone ought to do to create vivid characters

Five easy, proven tips for adding feelings to a memoir and creating vivid characters

As a memoirist, do you accept that your family, your friends and your acquaintances are characters in your story? This is a first step in creating vivid characters.

“But, I’m writing about my mother, not about a character,” you say.

Yes, you are writing about your mother and she is a character in your story. If you can’t incorporate that notion into your approach to writing, your memoir will not soar and you wil not create vivid characters—not of your mother or of anyone else.

Without the interactions of and with other people, our lives and memoirs risk becoming dull. Although ideas are pivotal for many individuals, relationships are even more commanding.

We are intrigued with who other people are and how they function. “Who’s that? What are they doing? Where did they come from?” These are questions we want answered.

[Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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