If you want to learn how to write vividly, use the following tips for avoiding vagueness in writing your memoir. When a manuscript slips into a vagueness, the reader reads and rereads and does not quite “get it.”
Memoir writing techniques refer to the “tools” of writing. Tools are instruments people use to make or facilitate making something.
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.
The same range of tools is a true with writing. There are “tools” which, if you use them, will help you to write a better, interesting, informational memoir. Other tools will produce crude, uninteresting pieces of writing.
Below are articles which present many different writing techniques. This list does not, by any means, exhaust the possibilities of techniques. Learn to use these and other tools of writing.
You must not resist writing a more personal memoir. You want to write your memoir, but you resist getting too personal, going in too deep. Your guarded secret that you wanted to have your own business one day or your hope that your father would apologize eventually for his denigration of you—this has happened and […]
People will sometimes suppose that only big drama can make an interesting memoir. Of course, there are many readers who require constant titillation if they are to remain reading. Perhaps they are not the readers you should be seeking for your memoir. Nonetheless, nearly all readers require some attention to “interesting.” No, I do […]
To make time for writing, you have to be serious about the principle that your writing is your work. You must act on it and take it as seriously as your paying job.
Our lives are full of personal myths which we have lived out—and continue to do so daily. In this video, I write about the “orphan” and the “prince[cess]-left-at-the-paper’s door.” Both have made frequent appearances in the memoirs I have coached and edited.
Writers seem to grasp the need every memoir has to have well-developed character and action, but the same is not true of memoir setting.
Too many writers omit to tell us enough of the setting of their story to make their memoir feel solid and real. It is as if we are reading about spirits who do not inhabit a tangible world. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
Can you assume you can depend on your memory when you write your lifestories? The problem with this assumption is that memory isn’t always as reliable as you may want it to be! What are the best interview practices to find out if your memory is spot on?
In this video, Work With or Through Pain: Writing Painful Memories, I talk about writing through painful memories. Pain is often a barrier to memoir writing. Who wants to revisit difficult times? Although delving into the past is a generally pleasant experience and promotes healing and growth, it can also be painful. In fact, sooner or later, pain seems to come with memoir writing. This pain if not handled well, can inhibit—and even stop—you from continuing with your writing. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
In this YouTube video on how to be a better storyteller, I share with you how you can learn to make effective use of a variety of technical skills to shape successful lifestories.
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 a writing prompt: it is the Memory List. No other exercise opens up the process of life writing as quickly and as surely as the thoughtful and thorough compilation of such a list. It’s simple, and as a first step, it’s crucial.
Let me tell you about the Memory List (a general term for your list of memories).