Writing Wednesday…

Writing Wednesday

Wednesday is the day I share what I have learned on my journey to publication, marketing and getting ready to publish again. If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them.

Writing Memoir

Most of us believe our lives are boring but the truth is everyone does have a story to tell. We all have that one thing that happened in our lives that changed our course in either a positive or negative way.

What exactly is a memoir? Let’s start with what it is not. It is not an autobiography which is the story of your entire lifetime. Unless you are somebody famous that has many accomplishments to your credit readers will not be interested in your entire life. It also is not a biography, which is also the story of an entire lifetime.

What a memoir is, finally clicked with me when my editor said, imagine someone is taking a walk around the block and they see your house and walk up to look into your large picture window. This day happened to be the day that “it” happened. The “it” is what changed or altered the course of your life for either the good or the bad. What would that person, who is walking by your house, see? Whatever it is that the person would see is the place you start your memoir. After the “it” event there should be some brief back story, the resolution and how you arrived there and a bit about where you are now.

A memoir is about an event, an incident, something that changed you in a positive or a negative way. It explains how you dealt with the “it,” The author questions what happened, tells the lessons learned and where you went from that moment on.

The memoir can be written in first person from the author’s point of view. It can also be told as Narrative nonfiction which is written like fiction-in story form.

There is little dialogue.

The reader should learn something and their life should also be affected in some way.

Memoirs should never be about revenge and should not be a book length rant.

They are between 65,000 and 95,000 words.

When writing nonfiction it helps to start with an outline.

Make a list of any research you will need to do

If you are writing nonfiction, you need to write the truth. Real names and places should be used unless using them will cause great harm. If you are planning on using fake names and places consider telling your story as fiction, instead of non-fiction.

If it happened to you, it is your story and you own it and have every right to tell it in your way.

An outline starts with a brief description of your story. The description should include the beginning, the middle and the end in a concise three paragraph’s. Next, write a paragraph or two on each chapter. Name your chapters and choose a title for your memoir. Nothing is written in stone, this is just the starting point.

I find it helps to have some photo’s and personal items that remind me of the time period I am writing about on my desk.

While writing The Stranger in My Recliner I kept a photo of Sophie, a few Peppermint Patties and a can of peas, all of which reminded me of her.

Once your outline is finished the next step is to write your proposal. Once your proposal is written you will have a solid foundation to write your book.

Happy Writing,

Doreen

 

 

 

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