7 key points for writing memoirs in a more attractive way (Creative Writing Workshop 9)

You may write your memoir regularly, and you may only write a memoir once in a while; But anyway, as a memoirist, you surely know that powerful memoirs have the capacity to take their readers on an exciting journey. We are talking about telling an interesting story. While basically every memory is different from another, but the best memories all have some common and special elements. So, what exactly makes a memoir compelling and engaging?

BingMag.com 7 key points for writing memoirs in a more attractive way (Creative Writing Workshop 9)

You may write your memoir regularly, and you may only write a memoir once in a while; But anyway, as a memoirist, you surely know that powerful memoirs have the capacity to take their readers on an exciting journey. We are talking about telling an interesting story. While basically every memory is different from another, but the best memories all have some common and special elements. So, what exactly makes a memoir compelling and engaging?

Let's review some of those compelling and valuable elements so you can use them in your memoir. Before we begin, let's define memoir and memoir.

What is memoir?

A diary is not really like an autobiography. In other words, it's not the story of your whole life. A memoir is a slice of life, a story is a part of your life or a story of your life.

The scope of a memoir will vary depending on the subject, but most aspiring memoirists have a lot of stories they want to write when the time comes. they have. One way to do this is to be clear about the themes of your story. Written memoirs are often formed by the author knowing the themes of his work and writing each scene with two questions in mind:

  • How does this scene relate to my subject?
  • I try to What meaning do I infuse into my story by writing this scene?
  • Memoir is about creating understanding, giving meaning to your story so that others can relate to it. A memoir is not "what happened" because unless you're famous, what happened to you in your life isn't what will draw readers to read your work. What attracts readers is the topic (surviving a severe trauma, trying to live by the principles of self-help books, life in prison) or the theme (addiction, parent-child relationships, repeating family patterns and identity). p>

    A memoir that lacks the author's effort to extract meaning from his story is usually a slow read. A reader may ask himself, what is the purpose of this work? If there is nothing in the story for the reader, the memoir lacks reflection and point, two key elements unique to memoir writing.

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    How to write a memoir

    BingMag.com 7 key points for writing memoirs in a more attractive way (Creative Writing Workshop 9)

    If you want If you're writing a memoir, you need to take your readers on a journey they'll never forget. In this post, we will share with you some tips for professional memoir writing, and we will also review many memoir writing examples together.

    The following tips will help you a lot in writing memoirs.

    1- Limit your focus

    Your memoir should be written as if the entire book is a snapshot of one or two topics from your lived experience. Consider a pizza, if your life represents the whole pizza, you are writing a book about a small slice of that pizza.

    Since your memoir is not an autobiography, you can create a timeline by creating a timeline. Discover the topics you want from the events of your life. In the classes I teach, we call these "turning points," and it's a valuable exercise in discovering where the valuable narratives lie and what parts to focus on and where they might carry the most narrative weight. You want your readers to get to know you on a much deeper level by getting to know you and the specific experience you lived, but also apply their understanding of their own experiences to your story.

    Perhaps with Angela's Ashes by Meet Frank McCourt. The memoir focuses on Frank's life as a child growing up in Ireland. Angela is his mother, and most of the story focuses on the mother-son relationship and how Frank sees it, as well as the role of external forces such as alcoholism, loss, and trauma on the entire family.

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    2- Consider something beyond your story

    BingMag.com 7 key points for writing memoirs in a more attractive way (Creative Writing Workshop 9)

    Even when you narrow your focus, you should still pursue larger goals in your writing endeavors.

    For example, if Kamala Harris wrote her memoir about her husband And being a stepmother, she wrote while pursuing her career, also notes how she juggled these roles when she had such a big job and big ambitions. She let us in on intimate moments of her life, including fights she might have had with her husband over the balance of power in the family. Public attention, his memories about his heyday in the arena She was writing music, most likely including how she felt about returning to the music scene and how she continued to travel and perform while raising her children.

    But how does this apply to you? Imagine you are writing a memoir about your three-week trip through the Himalayas. While the focus will be on your trip, as well as what you learned about yourself along the way, it's wise to include other details about the place, the people who shared their experience with you, and what not only Include what you've learned about yourself, but also about human nature and the world. You can describe the geography and history of the area, share interesting tidbits about the people and animals you interacted with, and about exploring during your arduous journey. Discuss what it all means.

    Your readers want to know about you, but they're also interested in what got you where you are. What made you go on this trip? What is your background? What did you learn about yourself along the way? It's these kinds of vivid details and astute observations that make powerful memories.

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    3- Tell the truth

    BingMag.com 7 key points for writing memoirs in a more attractive way (Creative Writing Workshop 9)

    When Shannon Hernandez published her memoir, Breaking the Silence: My Final Forty Days public school teacher title," he wrote, knew he faced a huge dilemma: "If I decided to tell the whole truth, I was almost certain I would never get around to it and never work with the New York City public schools again."

    But he also knew that teachers, parents and administrators needed to understand why great teachers are leaving schools in droves and why the current education system is not doing the best for our nation's children.

    He said: I wrote my book with brutal honesty, and it paid off for my readers. It brought national attention to what goes on behind the closed doors of schools.

    One more thing about honesty: memories of the concept of truth are seen from the corner of your eye. Never write harshly. The motive of writing memoirs should not be revenge or lamentation or asking for forgiveness. It should be simply to share an experience that readers can relate to.

    Don't manipulate the truth or take it to extremes. If you find that you can't remember something, that's okay too. You can create composite scenes. You can rely on things that normally apply to the situation, like your mom wearing a certain style of dress, your best friend chewing her favorite gum, your brother yelling something that sounds like an insult you decide.

    You don't need to build or embellish, but you also haven't recorded your life with a tape recorder strapped to your belt, so memoir is all about recreating what happened while honoring the emotional truth of your story.

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    4- Put the readers in your place

    BingMag.com 7 key points for writing memoirs in a more attractive way (Creative Writing Workshop 9)

    Powerful writers show the subject when describing, not just name it. And for a memoirist, this is essential to your success, because you have to show the reader the world from your point of view, so that they can draw their own conclusions.

    The best way to do this is to Unfold the story before your reader's eyes by using clear language that helps your reader visualize and describe each scene. Mary Carr, author of Three Memoirs and The Art of Memoir Writing, writes that you need to put the reader in their place. Another way to think about it is to imagine carrying an old video camera over your shoulder as you guide your reader through the scenes of your life. You want to put your reader right next to you, or better yet, inside your own experiences.

    You might want to explain that your aunt was a "raging alcoholic." If you say this directly, your description is likely to sound judgmental and critical.

    Instead, paint a picture for your audience to come to that conclusion for themselves. You might write something like:

    There were bottles of vodka in his bedroom and I had learned the hard way not to knock on his door until the afternoon. Most days he wouldn't come to our place until near sunset, and I'd read his face to see if I should ask him about the moneyjust so I could get a meal before Let me sleep.

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    5- Use story elements to bring your story to life

    BingMag.com 7 key points for writing memoirs in a more attractive way (Creative Writing Workshop 9)

    Think of the people in the diary as characters in the story. A great memoir draws you into their lives: what they struggle with, what they succeed at, and what they wonder about.

    Many of the best memoirists focus on a few key character traits. They focus on themselves and allow the reader to get to know each one deeply. Your readers need to be able to feel some emotion about your characters, love or hate or something in between.

    To bring your characters to life, details such as the tone of voice, the way they speak, their body language and gestures and style. Bring their speech. Read other memoirs to understand how authors introduce place and setting into their stories through their characters, their accents, their mannerisms, their shared values.

    While your memoir is a true story, use fictional elements. It can make it much more powerful and enjoyable for your readers, and one skill tip is to learn how to create strong characters that your readers feel they can identify with.

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    6- Create an emotional journey

    BingMag.com 7 key points for writing memoirs in a more attractive way (Creative Writing Workshop 9)

    Don't just think about creating a fleeting and short feeling in your readers! Leave your readers with their mouths open in fear, or laughing hysterically, or tears of sympathy and sadness, or all three.

    Take them on an emotional journey that will motivate them to read the next chapter, so That after finishing the last page, they will be pleasantly surprised about you and tell their friends and colleagues about your book. The best way to evoke these feelings in your readers is to connect your feelings as the protagonist with pivotal reflections and hints about events throughout your narrative arc.

    Most of us are familiar with narrative arcs. In school, our teachers would draw a "mountain" and as soon as we reached the precipice, we had to fill in the climactic point of the book or story. Your memoir is no different: you need to create enough tension to shape your overall story as well as each individual chapter with that narrative arc.

    In Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Garca, we see a boy without Doc grows up in the United States, the child of parents who crossed the US-Mexico border at the age of five. You will never find Marcelo telling us that he is sad, angry, or devastated.

    Instead, he writes of his frustration after his mother's failure to get a green card:

    But "It's okay, Mijo, we tried," she told me as I drove her to church one day.

    Or of her fear when immigration police raid her childhood home:

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    We stood there, frozen, not knowing what to do. The urge to escape had been replaced by a sense of resignation and paralysis we were firmly in place. At that point, if someone wanted to do it, they could have walked through the door, ordered us to open our hands, and we probably would have listened.

    7- Demonstrate your personal growth.

    BingMag.com 7 key points for writing memoirs in a more attractive way (Creative Writing Workshop 9)

    At the end of your memoir, you should show the growth or change or transformation of you, your protagonist.

    Any experiences you've had throughout your book will be more meaningful when you show how they've affected you along your journey, and how you've grown and changed your life as a result. How has what you've been through changed your approach to life? Change the way you think about others or yourself? How did the events help you become a better or wiser person in some way?

    This is often the hardest part of writing a memoir because it requires introspection; Sometimes in the form of foresight and definitely in the form of self-reflection. Sometimes it is necessary to write with an understanding that your character may not have known at the time - at the age you were. That's why it's so important to learn how to create reflections that don't destroy the fantasy.

    You don't want to constantly interrupt your narrative with things like, Now I understand Yet. I wish my mother had treated me better Instead you want to allow the reflection to exist almost as if it were omniscient, because in many ways it is. No one knows your story better than you, and you are allowed to extract meaning and apply understanding throughout your story. Not only are you allowed, but the genre demands it.

    If you make sense of your story, your readers will make sense of your story.

    When you use these examples and 7 guidelines Follow to write your blog, you will attract your audience and they will become your followers You will convert.

    But more importantly, you will share your authentic story with the world.

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