I’ve been thinking again of looking for the right details to enhance your memoir. Of course, details are crucial in the what of a memoir as well as in the who, the where, and the when. They are the facts of your memoir, but there is an expanded role for details in memoir writing. Here […]
Tag Archives | how to write memoirs
All writers eventually need a motivation technique to spur them on to the finish line. They face the atrophy of motivation that seems to come with writing a long memoir over months and months and even over a period of time. Let’s face it: writing can be hard and discouraging. The most interesting of topics […]
As you write a memoir, you will find that you need much more information about technique or about style or about research or any number of other topics. Unless you have been writing much over the years, this is likely to be you. Going to the library for information is a necessary next step for […]
As you articulate your theme, ask yourself if this theme is really yours–does it reflect your present understanding of your story and of life itself?
The importance of facts in memoir writing The importance of facts in memoir writing such as dates, addresses, names, and relationships, are one of its special feature. Memoir writing cannot, without deleting from its value, omit dates and specific identification of locales, names of individuals and their relationships to one another. Memoir writing is factual writing: […]
Are You Using Lightning Bug Words? How do we write in lightning and not in lightning bugs? Using the right words when writing your memoir will illuminate and inform your readers.
I’m no more immune than anyone else to the plague of time wasters. Time wasters are habits we fall into that consume the time we have allotted (or could allot) to writing so that we end up not writing! Here are some of the most insidious that take up too much time and squander my […]
It is later than you think. In the years I have been helping people write memoirs, I have seen people die and people grow too old. The energy not only to write deeply but to write a memoir at all has been lost to them; their stories have been lost. We go through our days […]
DL: This is a perennial favorite with the search engines. I consider it to be a foundational post whose info can guide you to success. I hope you enjoy it.
A Memory List is far superior to an outline!
For some writers, there comes a moment in writing a memoir when the audacity of the undertaking hits them. Perhaps they think doorslammers like: “This can take forever.” “Writing a memoir will never pay for itself.” “I can’t afford to do this!” They reach for certainty. And that certainly if often a reversion to essay and report writing. They want an outline to assure the task gets done right.
The following is a comment to someone who asked in the Memoir Forum if she should create an outline and how to know when the page and chapters were the right length.
1. Do not write a memoir from an outline.
I do not write from an outline. Instead I create a Memory List as outlined in Chapter 2 of Turning Memories Into Memoirs. The Memory List helps you to follow the promptings of the unconscious rather than the dictates of the conscious mind as happens with an outline. (An outline is great for an essay—”The Three Causes of the American Civil War”— but it is the death of an exploratory memoir.) So…
Sometimes, years after I’ve heard from someone that he is writing a memoir, I will connect with the writer again. Perhaps it’s three or four or five years later, but the writer is working on the same memoir. I don’t get it. So I ask politely, “What has snagged the memoir?” In short…
How long does it take to write a memoir? Really? Well, I don’t actually know the answer to “how long does it take to write a memoir?” What I know is a memoir needn’t take so long to compose.
Why do some memoirs drag on? [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]