How important is theme in a memoir? Theme in a memoir is absolutely important! Here’s is a distinction between a family-focused autobiography and a memoir that, I hope, will help you to appreciate the value and the role of theme in a memoir.
Tag Archives | autobiography
The difference between a memoir and an autobiography can be rather minimal—or they can be fairly large. “So what is the difference between a memoir and an autobiography?” you may persist in asking as so many people do. Practically speaking, for most people, there is no difference. In common speech, the terms are interchangeable. But […]
Organize Your Memoir with Life Phases
Life phases are one way in which you can organize your memoir. Life phases are the emotional and psychological cycles or phases that have marked your life.
Every life proceeds in irregular and unpredictable phases. We can go along with our lives for a long time without much change, thinking that we have arrived at a resolution of the great “who am I?” question, and then unpredictably and perhaps quickly find ourselves dealing with totally different emotional and psychological challenges. Often, it is only in looking back on our lives that we are aware of these life phases.
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What’s the Right Publication Option For You?
You have finished writing your memoir or are nearing its completion. You feel satisfied with the text. It has been edited by a professional and you have made changes, You are ready for the next step. You are ready to be published. But what is the right publication option for you?
Now, your task is to decide how to best send it out into the world—that’s what publishing a book comes down to it: making your memoir public after all these months of having writing it be a personal project.
The are basically three options.
A writing prompt seems like a good idea—but is it really?
You are given a writing based on a writing prompt—let’s say, “Write about something physical you were afraid of as a child?”—and you instantly start to write about the water slide at Camp Algonquin you were sent to as an eight-year old. You are not sure why you are so moved to write this story but you do not hesitate. You write about standing at the top of the slide and about Martha Cocciardi in back of you on the ladder, shouting “Get going, Patty. I want to slide, too” and, at that moment, you realized there was nothing to be done but to throw yourself at the mercy of fate and hope you survive to enter the fourth grade. You write with some humor and emotional distance suggesting “Oh, silly me! Oh, what little problems we have as children!” [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
Memoir or Autobiographical Fiction?
Memoir or autobiographical fiction—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. ]
Is Your Autobiography Compelling? Granted everyone has stories to tell, but can ordinary people learn the skills and techniques necessary to write meaningful and interesting autobiography? Yes! Anyone who wants to can learn the tasks necessary to write a memoir to bequeath with pride to their children and grandchildren. Every step in the writing process […]
Recently, someone asked me what are the biggest barriers memoir writers face to being prolific. The following three came to mind right away. Below, I write about them and offer suggestions for eliminating these impediments to staying in the writing conversation. Writers often put…
Today’s successful memoir writer is Jean Crichton. Jean attended the very first national workshop that I organized in 2000. From that time, we developed a strong working relationship via coaching and editing. She was one of those writers who was an absolute pleasure to work with. To read past interviews For the most recent interview with […]
Today’s writer is Cindy Doucette whose book is It Can Happen to Any Family. On August 22, 2012, we printed a testimonial written by a young person who was in the correctional system and who wrote of the influence Cindy Doucette’s book had on her. Our last interview was with author Peggy Kennedy. If you haven’t read it, click here. Denis […]