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Archive | “Best Of” from The Memoir Writer’s Blog

Of the hundreds of memoir writing posts on the Memoir Writer’s Blog—almost 500 to be exact—some have proven to be favorites. Below are those articles which ranked in the top most-visited posts according to Search Engine “opens.”

We hope you enjoy reading—and benefit from—this year’s best memoir writing posts as much as our other writers have. And…

Once you have read them, why not go on to read the other hundreds of posts? Think of the Memoir Writer’s Blog as a catalog of university-level courses you can participate in anytime you are ready to learn more. This is just-in-time-learning at its best.

All of our memoir writing posts are free to you and they are laser focused so that you get the info you need when you need it.

We know it’s not easy to be a good memoir writer, but becoming one is not beyond your ability. You will need more skills and more knowledge—but both of these can be acquired.

You can do it—and you can do it starting now.

Your memoir readers will thank you for taking your writing seriously enough to study the process to become the best writer you can be.

First paragraph

The First Paragraph Can Make or Break a Memoir for the Reader

Writers sometimes struggle with how to begin a story and will not write the story until they have the beginning—the first paragraph.

This is not a good way to proceed.

The first paragraph of a memoir sets the tone.

The first paragraph creates the tone and often presents imagery that will shape the reader’s appreciation of your story—whether a vignette or a full memoir.

In a short story I wrote many years ago, I did not compose the first paragraph until I had written the whole story. Frankly, I was stumped and did not know how to begin the story, how to launch the  reader.

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The Memoir Network Ghostwriting Services

Memoir Ghostwriting – How Much Does It Cost?

Memoir ghostwriting is a viable option if you choose not to write your memoir yourself. There are many reasons you would choose not to write a memoir by yourself and most of them are good.

Understandably, people want to know how much memoir ghostwriting will cost. Depending on the length of your memoir, it may take months and even years to complete your book. Here are a few considerations for you to ponder over as you assess how much a co-author might cost.

1. Asking “How much will it cost to have my memoir ghostwritten?” is like asking “How long will it take to cross the Atlantic Ocean?”

Many factors will affect the time required for a crossing: the wind, the distance between the ports of departure and the arrival you choose, the design of the boat itself, the number of people and the amount of materials and supplies on the boat, whether or not you wish to cross directly or whether you would like to make a few forays along the way—say, visit Iceland before landing in Portugal.

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writing prompts

Better Than Writing Prompts – Five Tips for Creating a Memory List

People who are writing a memoir will sometimes say, “I want to write my stories but I have forgotten so many details. Is there any way I can get them back? Should I use writing prompts?” There is one tool above all others that makes the experience of life writing successful. That tool is not […]

How long should it take to write a memoir?

How Long Should It Take to Write a Memoir? Set a Deadline!

How Useful Is A Memoir Timeline?

Have you ever wondered, “How long should it take to write a memoir?”

One answer, of course, is that it takes as long as it takes. While so true, this answer is not useful to those writers who are trying to get their duckies in line—looking at where the time is in their schedules to write, knowing what support to ask from their life partners, etc. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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memoir pre-writing

Three Tips for Effective Memoir Pre-Writing

Before you begin to write your memoir, there are a number of non-writing tasks which you must undertake—this phase of compiling your lifestory is called memoir pre-writing, and it is essential to writing better stories. People often think of pre-writing as a waste of time, but it is not. It will get your stories written more quickly and more interestingly. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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audience in mind

Should You Write With An Audience in Mind?

While some people decide to write a memoir according to structure—healing memoirs, investigative memoirs, etc—as I wrote in a previous post, others write with an audience in mind. (Writing with structure in mind often calls for writing with an audience in mind, also.) 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 to 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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point of view in a memoir

How to Organize Your Memoir: Four Ways

Do You Wonder How to Organize Your Memoir?

Eventually, after you have written awhile, you will likely have amassed a number of vignettes, story segments, and stories and wonder about how to best organize them into a coherent and interesting memoir. You will likely want to make a statement, o create a bigger picture of your story.

How will you do it? Well, one answer is that you will do it by how you organize your story. Below are four ideas to organize your memoir.

Remember: These suggestions do not refer to the sequence in which the stories are written but rather to how they can be ordered after they have been written.

Here are four ways you can organize your memoir.

1) Chronology

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The Memoir Network

Add Depth To Your Memoir

It’s time to add depth to your memoir. Here are links to five information-packed articles that are sure to make you think more deeply about your writing—and help you in the important task of re-writing your stories and vignettes so that they form a more coherent and meaningful whole.

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Dialog in a memoir: “So what did you say?”

Dialog is important in a memoir because it allows us to “hear” the subject, but using dialog is also fraught with problems. It can throw your memoir off. Pitfalls of using dialogue in a memoir Essentially, most writers use dialog that is too long. A memoir, of course, is a remembered story. When the writer […]

writingdesk2

A Room of One’s Own to Write Memoir In

An outside writing space sounds great to me—and a luxury I am not willing to wait for. In fact, I have never used outside writing rooms—except for once when I borrowed a summer home for week and finished a book there as I wrote ALL day. Being there was very productive as I had nothing […]

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