Writers Write creates writing resources and shares writing tips. In this post, we discuss a few of the secrets of a memoirist.
Are you thinking about writing a memoir? Do you think you have a story that is interesting enough to write and one that people will want to read?
Here are some secrets of a memoirist for you to consider.
Secrets Of A Memoirist
1. Write To Engage
You should write your story to engage and entertain your readers. Don’t write a story to send a message. You are not competing in a Miss World pageant. Write because you have something to say. Write because you have to write.
Top Tip: Apply the same rules you would when writing a novel. Use dialogue, use the senses, and keep your ego out of it.
Your desire to write your memoir can be an indication that you need to introspect and maybe even see a therapist. Think about this, and go if you need to. We highly recommend this. It will probably make your story better in the long run.
The truth is that once you’ve dealt with your feelings, and you realise your story is not unique, you can honestly consider if you have a readable story to tell. You will realise people read memoirs to find out how you coped more than what happened. What was unique about your ‘how’?
2. Find A Theme
One of the secrets to writing a great memoir is to find a theme, and to identify how the plot works with that theme. You must be able to describe your theme in a word or a phrase or a sentence.
- Words: Addiction, Loss, Grief, Survival, Escape, Abuse, Courage, Persecution, Opportunity
- Phrases: A woman in a man’s world, The way of the world, Facing the enemy, Pride and Prejudice, A journey of (food /yoga /travel)
- Sentences: Who dares wins, The more things change the more they stay the same, What does not kill you makes you stranger
Theme defines a memoir. Write your book as a linked series of events with that underlying theme. And stick to it. No one wants to know when you, a crack addict, rode a bicycle for the first time. Unless the event is linked to the theme of addiction.
Remember that a memoir is not an autobiography. You cannot write an autobiography unless you are famous. However, if you have a story and a good writing style, you can write a publishable memoir.
Top Tip: If you want to learn how to write a memoir, look into our Secrets of a Memoirist course.
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