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Author Archive | Denis Ledoux

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November 13: Writing A Memoir Is Like Making A Movie

Writing a memoir is like making a movie, and in many ways, a good memoir writer treats the story the way a filmmaker treats a movie. Too often, as we write memoir, we tell the reader what is happening in the story rather than show it. Fortunately, a  filmmaker does not have this luxury—or is it curse?—of telling. The only way the filmmaker can let us know what is happening is to show something on the screen—whether that is a setting, an action or a feature of characterization such as a frown. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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November 12: Use Sense Details in Your Memoir

Use sense details in your stories to engage and hook your readers.  A successful memoir needs sensory details to bring your story “to life” and make the reader feel as if it is unfolding in front of him. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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November 11: How to Write About a Conflict in Your Memoir

Write about a conflict in your memoir to engage your reader. There needs to be action in your story. There needs to be something happening. One way to explore plot is to explore action.

When you use action in writing your story, it is called plot. Something must happen in your story to retain the interest of your reader. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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November 10: Writing Plot Into a Memoir

Writing plot into a memoir is something people are surprised to learn a memoir needs. For some writers, this technique of writing plot into a memoir screams of twisting the memoir into a fiction piece. But, all of us need to be kept reading by some mechanism. This mechanism is often called plot. A plot is an action. Plot is the something that happens in a memoir. Today, we explore how to create a plot that is true to the memoir, faithful to the facts. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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November 9: How to Combine Journals—Real or Imagined—and Memoir Writing

When you learn to refer to your journals as you are memoir writing, you will produce more accurate and detailed stories. Your journal is a kind of writing laboratory, where you can experiment with techniques to record your feelings and perceptions. It’s also a great tool to get around writer’s block! So…journals and memoir writing go well together!

If you are fortunate enough to have recorded your life in a journal, you can use your entries to refresh your memory and get access to salient facts or verify what you remember.

But, you say, “I don’t have a journal!” Not a problem. Read on

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November 8: The Backstory of Your Memoir

A backstory is the story behind the story, the antecedent. What is the backstory of your memoir? Have you told too much of it, way beyond what the story needs? How much backstory should be included in your memoir?

Each of our memoirs is likely to have stories full of details. We spend much time elaborating the story as we remember it—and this is usually good, but we often slip into telling too much backstory.

Getting to the necessary backstory of your memoir

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November 7: Speed Up Your Writing—Today!

People often complain that they do not have the time to write. Often this is justly so as writing does take up a good amount of time. No way around it! If you could speed up your writing, what a boon that would be to your productivity.

Today you will explore a method of writing faster—better will come later. In this post, learn to speed up writing your first draft using new, improved technology.

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November 6: Organize a Story Collecting Party

Since our lives are usually lived in community and our lifestories have evolved with other people in tow, take advantage of this symbiosis to write the best memoir you are capable of by accessing a collective memory of your life’s events. Today, you will organize a lifestory party.

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November 5: Writing for an Audience

Writing for an audience may be more important than you think. Sometimes the audience is of specific people but many other writers, while they do have a specific audience in mind, are really writing to a group according to their interest.

“I want to write for my kids and grandchildren. I want them to know who I was,” one sort of memoirist will realize. While another will think, “I want my children and grandchildren to know me, too, and I want to place my life in a greater context. I’m hoping to have readers beyond my kin, readers who are interested in a larger picture of what life was.” [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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November 4: Don’t Trust Your Memory

Don’t trust your memory when it comes to recording facts, events, and dates as you are writing your stories for your memoir.

There’s no way around it: your memory—and mine—is fallible, unfortunately sometimes false, and too often flattering as it “remembers” events.

We may not want to admit it, but our memories are not reliable.

Don’t Trust Your Memory: Go to the sources

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