Writing a memoir autobiography

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Writing a memoir autobiography

Not only do I devour memoirs, I also have written my own, and I coach memoir writers on turning their memories into manuscripts. Narrow your focus Your memoir should be written as if the entire book is a snapshot of one theme of your life. Or consider it a pie, where your life represents the whole pie, and you are writing a book about a teeny-tiny sliver.

Your memoir is not an autobiography. The difference is that an autobiography spans your entire life, and a memoir focuses on one particular moment or series of moments around a theme. You want your readers to walk away knowing you, and that one experience, on a much deeper level.

Angela is his mother, and much of the storyline focuses on her and how Frank saw her, as well as the role she played in trying to hold the entire family together. Include more than just your story I know I just instructed you to narrow down your focus, but we need to think bigger in our writing pursuits.

For example, if Hillary Clinton wrote a memoir about raising a child in the White House, she would be pulling in tidbits about how she handled the media, who she let visit her daughter during sleepovers and how she navigated the politics of parenting during her time in the White House.

Likewise, if Madonna was writing a memoir about reinventing herself after 20 years away from the public spotlight, she most likely would include what it felt like to return to the music scene and how she continued to travel and perform while raising her children.

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How does this apply to you? Imagine you are writing a memoir about your three-week trek through the Himalayan Mountains. While the focus is on your trip, as well as what you learned about yourself along the way, it would be wise to include other details as well.

You could describe the geography and history of the area, share interesting snippets about the people and donkeys you interacted with, and discuss your exploration of life-and-death questions as you progressed along your arduous journey.

Tell the truth One of the best ways to write a powerful memoir is to be honest and genuine. When I wrote my memoir, Breaking the Silence: I wrote my book with brutal honesty, and it has paid off with my readers — and is bringing national attention to what is happening behind closed school doors.

One more note on honesty: Memoirs explore the concept of truth as seen through your eyes.

writing a memoir autobiography

Your story, the unique one that you hold and cherish, is enough. There is no need to fabricate or embellish. Put your readers in your shoes Powerful writers show, not tell.

And for a memoir writer, this is essential to your success, because you must invite your reader into your perspective so she can draw her own conclusions.

Character Worksheets

Instead, paint a picture for your audience so they come to this conclusion on their own. You might write something like this: Employ elements of fiction to bring your story to life I like to think of the people in memoirs as characters.Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, Stephen King’s critically lauded, classic bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work.

Earlier in this book, when writing about my brief career as a sports reporter for the Lisbon Weekly. A: In some general contexts, memoir and autobiography can be used interchangeably.

In fact, leslutinsduphoenix.com puts them in the same category. But there’s a key difference that publishers use to define each—the timeline covered in the writing.

(Get more advice in . Don’t Make These 7 Mistakes When Penning Your Memoir. Writing a memoir isn’t for the faint of heart. It requires bravery, unflinching honesty, and the ability to turn your life lessons into universal truths. A: In some general contexts, memoir and autobiography can be used interchangeably.

In fact, leslutinsduphoenix.com puts them in the same category. But there’s a key difference that publishers use to define each—the timeline covered in the writing. But when it comes to writing about our own lives, I've really only heard of two different types of books: an autobiography and a memoir.

And between the two, I never really understood if there was even a difference. One of the most difficult aspects of writing a memoir or autobiography is the ability to discern what experiences and events make for the strongest story. Not every detail of a person’s life ought to be included in their book.

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