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A Comprehensive Guide on Memoir Writing
Want to take a trip down the memory lane? Well, you can always write memoirs. However, if you do not know how to write a memoir, you should first have an idea on the formatting structure. Once you know the details, it won’t take much time to write an effective memoir.
Writing a memoir is one of the most pleasant activities that one can dream of. Not only do you get to share your personal experience, but also provide your readers with pointers on how to react in a particular situation.
What Is A Memoir?
If you are not aware what a memoir is, it will be difficult for you to understand how to write an effective memoir. So, let us delve into the definition of a memoir at first.
A memoir is often misinterpreted as an autobiography. However, both these literary works are different. While an autobiography deals with the complete journey of a person from birth till the present moment, highlighting all the accomplishments, a memoir focuses on selected anecdotes.
Thus, your quintessential memoir definition is that a memoir is a historical account of your life, which supports a particular theme or provides the readers with a moral lesson. Your readers would get a sneak-peek of your experience and they, in turn, would be able to learn something new.
How to Write A Memoir?
Now that you know what a memoir is let us proceed to the next step- 'How to Write a Memoir?’ Writing a memoir is easy if you abide by the authentic guidelines. However, you need not get too worked up about it. Just follow the steps below.
- Choose Your Theme
You need to choose a theme so that your target audience would be able to relate to your story. You must always think from the perspective of the readers, and ask yourself this question, “Will I find anything interesting?’’ Thus, select an incident from your life that the readers find moving.
- List Out The Events
Once you have selected a particular incident from your life, you need to recollect the series of events that unfolded. Maintain the chronology of events as it would make your story more natural. If you are wondering, “How to write a unique memoir?” just stay true to yourself.
- Portray a Genuine Image
The key to writing a good memoir is to present an honest picture. Just narrate your story as it happened and pay attention to all the minor details like the time the event occurred, you initial reaction etc. Most importantly, provide details on the characters involved in the incident.
- Narrate Your Story
If you wish that your memoir be accepted by a large audience, incorporate informal language. Include actual conversations of people if possible. Moreover, keep an eye out on how you develop your characters, the conflict or tension you create and the pacing of the incidents.
- Showcase Emotion
You need to inculcate an emotional aspect in your story so that people think, “Wow! I didn’t know that people could be this self-less!” or “Yes, that’s how I would have reacted”. There is no better credit than making your readers feel strongly about your experience.
- Employ Literary Elements
You should write your memoir using simple language. To maintain a link between the different events, you should use proper connectors like "Henceforth", "Regardless", "Having said that" etc. Transition in your storytelling should be smooth.
- Share the Lessons you Learnt
Just blankly stating the incidents won’t help you. You need to share personal views on your experience, by chipping in phrases like “I felt really aggravated” or “It was awkward for me”. You can also engage your readers by asking them, “Wouldn’t you feel the same way?”
The 7 steps mentioned above will help if you are wondering, “How to write a memoir?”In the following section, we will take a look at the other aspects required to write the memoir, following the memoir outline.
5 Basic Steps for Writing a Memoir
Now that you have an idea on how to portray a specific experience in your memoir, let us have a detailed look at the fundamental steps required to write the entire content. Here, we will take a look at the authentic memoir outline as well.
- Select Your Target Audience
You must choose your target audience before you select your theme. If you want to share your personal experience with teenagers, you have to need to select the anecdote accordingly.
- Conduct Thorough Research Work
Once you have selected the topic, you need to recollect the events that took place. Jot down the events somewhere and work on the structure of the content based on how you are going to present the experience.
- Make Your Memoir Interesting From the Start
You should start on a strong note by writing an interesting introduction. State a relevant quote or pose a question to your readers to start things off. Provide a background of why you wish to discuss the experience.
- Create Different Paragraphs
If you wish to shed light on the different aspects involved in the experience, you need to create separate paragraphs for the different events (scenes). Focus on the plot, characters, timing of the event and the dialogues you insert. Remember to incorporate your take on the matter.
- Proper Round Off
Did you learn anything worthwhile from the experience? You should share that with your readers, so that they can learn and grow from your mistakes or reactions. Moreover, revise the content to check whether you have missed out anything.
Now that you know what to insert in your write up and how to format your content, you should not be wondering, “How to write a memoir?” anymore.
Memoir Examples & Samples
Only theoretical knowledge won’t suffice. The problems become more prominent when you sit down to write the memoir. Thus, you should refer two to three memoir examples, when you face any issues.
Here is an example of a memoir, which you should refer if you wish to come up with your ideas. It will also provide you with an insight on how to write a memoir essay, following the structure. The memoir is titled “A Difficult Balance: Am I a Writer or a Teacher?” and it has been written by Kyoko Mori.
How to Write 6 Word Memoirs?
Memoir writing becomes challenging when you are asked to narrow down the content to only one sentence, specifically, six words. In case you are wondering, “How to write a 6 word memoir?” you need not have sleepless nights about it.
If you wish to write six word memoirs, you need to highlight the primary aspect that you get to learn from your personal experience. For instance, “Now, I rue my cancellation decision” or you can make it catchy like, “Life is one big editorial meeting” which was used by renowned activist Gloria Steinem.
As you can see, the six word memoirs represent the gist of your entire narration. However, the phrase needs to be intriguing so that it draws the attention of the readers instantly.
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