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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.

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memoir setting

Every Story Needs a Believable Memoir Setting

Writers seem to grasp that every memoir needs well-developed characters and actions, but the same is often not true when they consider 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.

1. Setting places your characters in a context and makes them “real.”

The memoir setting is both where and when your story occurs. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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best interview practices

Best Interview Practices for Writing a Memoir

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?

Get More Info From Your Photos

Get More Info From Your Photos–The small details for your memoir are in your photos

Look with “new eyes” to get more info from your photos.

“Where do I find more details for my memoir?” you ask. “I remember a lot and I’ve done my Memory List, but where is the small stuff I need to ground my memoir—and possibly provide new insights?”

The answer is in your photos. Get more info from your photos by following these steps

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writing a memoir

Core Focus for Writing a Memoir

DL: While this post is geared to those individuals who are writing memoir for family and friends, if truth be told, this post will also be of great help to those who are writing memoir for a larger audience. Core Focus for Writing Memoir is about basics.

Five Tips for Focus for Writing Memoir!

Is your family one of the many whose history is at risk for getting lost to future generations because no one has written it down?

Writing your lifestories—even just a few—is a great way to memorialize your family and to keep the experience of your life—and theirs—from being forgotten. The details you take for granted or consider obvious will most likely be lost to the next generation unless you make the effort to record them in writing.

Writing down a memory and sharing it with others is a way to celebrate your life and your family. Writing a memoir is not as hard as some people think—anyone who is willing to follow the few simple steps I will outline below will be off to a great start at writing autobiography or family history, but ou must focus for writing a memoir. More and more people—in fact, many who, at first, think they can’t—are succeeding at exploring, honoring and preserving their pasts in this way.

Follow these five tips for remembering and writing a pleasing and meaningful lifestory that will honor both your family and yourself and create a legacy for your children—or even the world.

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writing precise words

Sweetheart, Are You Using Precise Words for Your Memoir?

Is writing precise words really important in a memoir?

Over the years, I have written energetically about the importance of writing precise words instead of generic ones.

I was dropping someone off at the bus station (aka the Intermodal Transportation Center) when I overheard an exchange that convinced me once again of the necessity for precision in speech–and, by extension, in our memoir writing. It was proof that generic words really do miss the mark and lead to confusing messages.

A grandmother was seeing her daughter (I presumed from the similarity of looks) and three grandchildren off—or perhaps it was the other way. The grandmother had said goodbye to the two girls and there was a boy of about 10 whom she had not yet bid her fond farewell to. He was looking around the space, distracted by this and that and not paying much attention to what was going on.

“Sweetheart,” the grandmother said, holding her arms out to hug him. The boy continued to look around elsewhere.

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sensory details

Why Sensory Details Bring A Memoir To Life

Successful stories are full of sensory details (colors, shapes, textures, smells, sounds, flavors. When your stories portray a vivid world (“three sweet-scented roses”) rather than a vague one (“some nice flowers”), you make it easier for readers to take the leap of faith into the world of your writing.

Abstraction kills a story

If your story has abstract and vague wording like “After a while, absence from home made fidelity difficult for him and he committed adultery…,” your readers will be less interested in (and less swayed by) what you have to say than if your narration is filled with concrete details. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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memoir or autobiographical fiction

Fiction and memoir writing: When Is It not a Memoir?

Fiction and memoir writing—what’s the difference? I have been reading a memoir that has been doing well here in Maine (it’s by an excellent Maine writer)–I can’t vouch for its reach in the rest of the country. It was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt so I can only presume it is receiving support elsewhere.

It’s an interesting book, very well-written in terms of style and organization, but my nagging doubt [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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A gift for you...
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