How to write a memoir a book

This post is a summary of the advice I shared. Thanks to everyone who tuned in and asked questions and helped me keep the lights on. The two truths of writing anything There are only two things you need to write any kind of book. Books take time to write which means your success depends on regular habits.

How to write a memoir a book

how to write a memoir a book

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.

What is a memoir?

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.

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. Your story, the unique one that you hold and cherish, is enough.

how to write a memoir a book

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.

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.

A great memoir pulls you into their lives: Many of the best memoir writers focus on a few key characteristics of their charactersallowing the reader to get to know each one in depth. Introduce intriguing setting details and develop a captivating plot from your story.

Show your readers the locations you describe and evoke emotions within them. They need to experience your story, almost as if is was their own. Knock off their pants, shirt, shoes and underwear too!

Leave your readers with their mouths open in awe, or laughing hysterically, or crying tears of sympathy and sadness — or all three.Discover the proven structure that makes writing memoir so much easier.

Writing memoir is hard work. Writing good memoir is 10X harder. If you’ve ever aspired to write a good memoir, you already know this. 5 Tips for Starting Your Memoir. 1. Write memoir, not autobiography. An autobiography is the story of an entire life, but a memoir is just one story from that life.

Feb 03,  · How to Write a Memoir. In this Article: Brainstorming Your Angle Creating Your Masterpiece Polishing Your Work Community Q&A. A memoir is a way to touch at the heart of emotion and allow it to be shared with others.

If they are not written down, the 87%(). You want to write about something that happened to you. You operated an air charter service in the scorched red Australian outback, or your whole family drank excessively, or you were on an ordinary walk with your husband when he was killed midsentence by a runaway van that drove a parking meter into his head.

How to Write a Memoir: 6 Creative Ways to Tell a Powerful Story

Though the memoir is a popular genre in publishing, it's much harder to learn how to write a memoir. In this post, we turned to bestselling ghostwriters to show you what it will take to write a compelling memoir that strangers will want to read.

Write your memoir with the integrity of the story in mind. Choose beta readers, reviewers, and editors who have no connection to the people, places, or events in the book – and listen to their suggestions.

3 Ways to Write a Memoir - wikiHow