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Archive | Technique: the tools of your memoir writing “trade”

Memoir writing techniques refer to the “tools” of writing. Tools are instruments people use to make or facilitate fashioning something. Often, we cannot make what we want to make without the proper tools. So tools are not only helpful, they are often necessary to our success.

If you were a carpenter, you would use hammers and saws and levels, etc, to create solid, beautiful results. The carpenter who uses stones and tree branches and direct kicks with his feet, however, is not likely to  produce a solid, beautiful result. (Not that I would know from personal experience!)

A range of tools is a true with writing. There are “tools” which we call memoir-writing techniques. If you use them, will help you to write a more elegant, more interesting and more impactful memoir. Other tools—or lack of them—will produce crude, uninteresting pieces of writing.

How to Use this Category

This section in memoir writing techniques is our most visited category on the Memoir Writer’s Blog. Rightfully so as it contains a  cornucopia of suggestions for better writing—or should I say “tools” for better writing.

If you have a specific inquire—for instance, “which point of view should I write my mothers memoir in?”—go directly to that subcategory in the right hand menu of “Blog Categories” under under “Techniques.” In most subcategories, you will plenty of insight to help you with your issue. (Beyond this, you ought to consider coaching. Coaching has helped many writers break through impasses—of technique, motivation, insight.)

There are other visitors who may refer to read through the different titles and select to learn about whatever memoir-writing techniques interests them at the time. Consider this category as a university-level reading list for you to inform yourself on the possibilities of memoir writing.

Below are articles which present many different memoir writing techniques. This list does not, by any means, exhaust the possibilities of techniques. Learn to use these and other tools of writing.

One more thing…

One article in this category, How to write a memoir: our 21 Best Memoir-Writing Tips to get you writing your memoir—quickly and well—and getting it into the hands of your public, ought to be bookmarked for continuing reference. It’s that good.

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November 28 Activity: Create Suspense and Foreshadowing in a Memoir

Suspense and foreshadowing in a memoir are important fiction techniques that you can use to keep the reader reading.  In an earlier post, I had written about the importance of plot in your memoir.  Plot is what happens in a story. For many readers, it is what keeps them a reading. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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November 27: Add Direct Dialog in a Memoir

Adding direct dialog in a memoir or indirect dialog–what’s the difference? There are two ways characters can speak in a story. One way is called direct dialog. When you write she asked, “How are you doing today?” you are using direct dialogue.  Direct dialogue requires quotation marks. When you use direct dialogue in a memoir you are saying this is actually what the speaker said. This is different from indirect dialog. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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November 25: Using Photos in Your Memoir

Are you using photos in your memoir as writing prompts? I have already written about how the memory is false, flattering, and faulty. I’ve also offered you one possibility for correcting this. That is the use of the memory list, the journal, and other artifacts. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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November 22: The Power of Using Specific Words in A Memoir

Using specific words in a memoir enables you to write a story with details that establish character and setting. Concentrate on nouns and verbs and discard any adjectives or adverbs that aren’t specific to the description, and your memoir will pull your reader in. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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November 21: Learn to Use Visualization In Your Memoir

You can use visualization in your memoir recall to write your memories in more detail.  There are powerful tools you can use to assist when you are visualizing.  When you learn to use visualization in addition to these tools, it can help you come up with more details for your memoir writing. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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November 18: Time to Include Feelings in Your Memoir

When you include feelings in your memoir, your reader’s interest is heightened and they are drawn into the story.

Make a list of different words to describe the feelings that you will want to highlight in your memoir.  Put these words in your memory list both to draw from as you write and to keep you focused. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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November 17: Gather Details For a Better Memoir

It’s important to gather details for a better memoir and use them effectively to draw your readers in. The use of vivid sensory details helps your reader not only “see” but engage all of their senses to be fully immersed in the story. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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November 15: Setting as A Character in Your Memoir

Writing the setting as a character of your memoir will tell us a lot about you and the people who were in your life. Many fiction writers give setting the prime role of character in their novels. As a memoir writer, you can also think of setting as a character in your memoir. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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November 14: Travel to the Setting of Your Memoir

What you will do today is travel to the place that figures in your story. This is the setting of your memoir. If you can do so physically, that is great.

If however, you need to travel to the setting of your memoir in your mind – because it is too far away or because somehow it no longer exists, you can always get there in your imagination. [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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