Basic units of memoir writing
Vignettes, scenes, and dialogues are at the core of any memoir. Here are some ideas for writing them more quickly and elegantly.
1. Don’t worry about order.
Don’t stop to figure out how these snippets—vignettes, scenes, and dialogues— may eventually fit together into a story.
Develop Vivid Characters
- Are the characters your memoir going to bore—rather than impress—your readers?
- Are you at a loss—“Help! What can I do!”—about how to make the people in your memoir more interesting?
- Are you embarrassed by the “stick” characters you have presented? “She really was a complex person, but I don’t know how to show her that way.”
These bits and pieces will accumulate as you recall more and more and continue to write them down. Giving yourself permission to write in small, separate segments (vignettes, scenes, and dialogues, etc.) is a great way to start writing. Because there will always be your memory list of things to write about, you will never experience “writer’s block!” Fitting these pieces together to craft a polished story will come later, in the rewriting stage. Right now, it’s important to get text—any text—down on paper. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
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