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A Comprehensive Guide on Memoir Writing

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A Memoir is the younger sibling of an autobiography. While the autobiography talks about a person’s details from birth to death, a memoir focuses on only certain parts. Memoir writing is a brief narrative on a certain point of the author from their perspective.

Going back to the history of memoir, St. Augustine of Hippo wrote the confessions of St. Augustine in A.D 357.  Although confessions could have been taken as an example of autobiography, this writing seemed different.

This did not focus on the entire life, achievements and learning but on the sin from the narrator’s point of view, which gave birth to memoirs.

And just like that, writing a memoir originated, they gave birth to subcategories like confessional memoirs, celebrity memoirs, transformation memoirs, personal memoir and travel memories.

Let us now break down the process of writing a memoir. The guide will cover everything you need to know about memoirs in one place.

Understanding the Art of Memoir Writing

To those who do not know what memoir writing is for them it might seem similar to autobiography, but it is not. Memoir is a reflection of a particular memory, while autobiography is facts about the life. Both of them are written in first person as the person is telling the story by themselves.

Building a relationship with the audience and provoking some emotion is important for a memoir. At the same time, for an autobiography stating simplest life facts can make it meaningful for the readers.

The goals of memoirs writing can be the following:

  1. Narrating story –Metris is like telling a story to the audience. Build the tension, use an informal tone and keep your audience engaged while you are narrating your story.
  2. Showcasing emotion –The main objective of a memoir is to speak to thousands of readers. To attain this, one should add in actual emotions, real-life conversations, and true feelings that resemble other readers.
  3. Listing events –Suppose you are writing a memoir on “20 things I learned at the age of 20”. Here you can list down various events which bought you your conclusion and opinions. Listing down events is also a powerful form of memoir writing, and the order of events plays a strong role here.
  4. Portraying image –Memoirs build genuine images of the story. Writing actual events, timings, and reactions of other characters can be one of the best ways of doing justice to a memoir.
  5. Sharing lessons learnt– Memoirs is not simply talking about the event. It helps the writer connect with the reader by sharing their life lessons through the event. The writer can also use statements like “I felt embarrassed” or “That situation changed my course in life”.

These valuable lessons can guide someone else, and the audience who resonates with them can be more enlightened.

Memoirs are one of the best ways of sharing experiences and life lessons and showcase the power of storytelling. One can share bold messages by intriguing the readers or they follow the narration form of writing. It can easily capture the audience’s attention.  

Choosing Your Memoir Topic

Beginners trying out their hands-on memoir writing may have a tough time selecting a good topic. To help you out, let us give you a slight hint on how to pick up topics for a memoir.

  • Remember that you are writing about something which can be a personal story, case, story or event. Memoir is simply the illustration for it. Once you understand that, you will understand how to precisely go about the memoir topic.
  • Another strong point to keep in mind is to think of a topic that interests you. You can use your life as inspiration and come up with topics or examples. Suppose you had a hard time in college. You can use this as a story on “things you learn in college” or “hardships which you faced in college which shaped your mentality”.
  • Remember that memoir writing is the strongest when one is writing about their personal experiences. This is because they can share simple valuable lesson which offer experiences that would be relatable to other readers. Also, personal experiences add an “aha moment”, which can be fun or sad and evoke emotions which create a strong story.
  • Since they follow the path of building emotional resonance, they are most liked and remembered by the audience. Just like there are particular books and music that resonate with us more, simpler if a memoir hits the right spot, it can build emotional resonance with the reader.

Our brain can process, experience and identify emotions which can be sparked while reading memoirs. Memories hardly contain any educational value. Rather they have high educational and sentimental value about a person’s life, struggles, memories, and acts which many people can find similar.

Everyone has thousands of experiences over their lifetime, and if you think you don’t, then take some time and think it over and you will have your memoir topic in no time.

Crafting Your Memoir – Tips & Tricks

Once you have your idea, it is time to sit down and get to the writing part. Now this is a process of trial and error, and you won’t achieve perfection in one shot.

But here are some tips for writing a memoir that will help you out in saving your efforts:

  1. Start by picking a topic which is significant in your life. This can be something which changed your viewpoint, a memorable life lesson, and something which shook you.
  2. Now imagine why that particular event is so vital to you. Was it tough? Was it very joyful? Were there too many struggles involved? Ask questions about the story, and you will develop a beautiful plot and find juicy reasons you can unfold in your work.
  • Now that you have your story, it is time to get into the writing part. Create an interesting outline and start with a hook. Create different paragraphs and separate them with a cliffhanger to create a smooth flow for the entire work. Add characters, describe vividly and recreate dialogue to grasp the readers better.
  • End by sharing what you have learned from your mistakes so readers do not make the same mistake and get something valuable out of your work.

The above tips were more general tips on how to write an engaging plot, but here are some more tips on how to write a memoir and make it vivid and engaging for the readers:

  • Start with a strong hook which evokes emotion in the readers to continue reading it and feel something. When you can hit the reader’s senses, they get more aggravated towards the story.
  • Try to add humour. Even if your memoir is sad or dark and has nothing to do with humor, you must sprinkle in little movements of laughter to create a blend which the reader is unexpecting.
  • Being vulnerable with your honesty to gain the reader’s trust always works best. Make your audience feel like you are sharing a secret or an untold story which provokes curiosity in the readers to know more.
  • Elements play a vital role. What elements can you add to the story in the form of characters, emotions or a short paragraph? Details like this matter which makes the explanation better, elevating readability.
  • The memoir should be relevant to the audience. Since memoir focus on only one part, it does not offer much scope. Writers should omit irrelevant parts of the story and cut them off. Readers hate filler paragraphs which beat around the bush.

Now that you know how to write it, let’s discuss different kinds of approaches which one can adopt for memoir writing:

Different Kinds of Approaches for Memoir Writing

  • Chronological

One of the most followed and simplest ways to start and end your memoir is by following the chronological order. In this, the writers arrange the events in the order this has happened.  

Beginners should resort to this as it is easy for them to writer and for the readers to understand the sequence of the events.

  • Thematic Piece

If you cannot pick a topic for your memoir, then think of other genres where you can add your strong points. It can be crime, horror, overcoming adversity, the impact of money etc.

Once you have the theme on your mind, you can easily fragment a story which lives up to it.

  • Past vs. Present

If you have read “Eat, Pray, Love” then you know how the ending starts with passion, and then the writer completely breaks off from it and leads onto the story. Sometimes the best way to write memoir can be by using past and present narratives.

Although the writers may find it tough, if done correctly it will create timeless pieces with flashbacks and flash-forwards which is interesting to read.

  • Internal Conflict

You can base your entire memoir on overcoming the inner conflict while facing the issue. These are mostly used for abuse and darker content, but anyone who is struggling to overcome bad habits and achieve their goals despite it seeming impossible can follow this style.

Honesty and Authenticity – 2 Pillars of a Memoir 

Being honest in a memoir is one of the best ways of captivating audiences with the truth. Since one follows an informal tone in a memoir and has to tell their own story, most people do not want to seem dishonest and want to state every detail with precision.

While narrating the story, simple loopholes like “I don’t remember the exact scene or time” can be disappointing. Under such cases, when honesty does not seem like an easy option, one takes the opportunity of fragmenting or playing around with the truth. But does it lead to ethical concerns?

Like any other form of writing, memoir writing allows friction, too. Even real-life commentaries have twists and turns to keep the readers or viewers on hook. Creativity should be limitless, and there is no issue with using objective truth. Often the topics are so sensitive or controversial that it leaves no option for the writer but to leave the truth behind. Under such cases, a different realm must be taken, names must be changed, and certain information must be disclosed out of respect.

Memoirs are the art of connecting with the readers by telling personal stories. However, it is not wrong to hide the truth ethically, as the story is not diverted. When dealing with brutal and controversial topics, then think of ways by which you can create a good draft and share your opinion on the topic which does not offend others. Please don’t go into the story with the emotion of revenge or empathy rather keep it simple yet knowledgeable and let the audience crave out its own meaning.

Always think of the areas you want to cover and which will be best if left untouched. 

Editing and Polishing Your Memoir

Even though memoirs are easier to write than autobiographies and other writing tasks, they call for revisions. There are still things left to revise. Apart from obvious English matters, flow of sentences, punctuation, grammar, and tense, one also needs to review the information, dates mentioned, name of real identities and flow of the entire story. Revision is a must. We bet you need to make changes every time you revise. If you don’t, that is when you know your work is supreme.

Lets us break down some tips on how to revise and self-edit your paper wisely. Suggest seeking feedback from trusted writers and readers or hiring a professional editor to improve the quality of your memoir.

No work is complete without proofreading and editing if you are into writing. Memoir writing does involve different strategies, but the proofreading and editing methods do not differ by a vast degree. Here is how you can edit and proofread your memoir to take it to the next level:

  • Verify if the introduction is hook worthy or needs some changes to grasp the reader’s attention.
  • Does the memoir look like a story or a speech since the latter does not invoke much interest?
  • Play around with words because you can always use better words to enrich the vocabulary, which shows signs of a remarkable writer.
  • No fumbling is allowed while editing, so make sure you are reading it aloud.
  • Analyze sentence length, structure, flow, description and how the dialogue is done. If anything seems odd, make changes.
  • Read your entire work two times. If you cannot endure your own writing, then probably others won’t be able to do it too.
  • Add in elements that give depth to the story and remove those that are taking it away.

Awareness is the key and being aware of editing is the foundation of good writing. Many omit editing because it is too much work and hassle, but the result is perfection leading to success. Stay committed to the process and do not give up. Memoir writing seems fun since it is about oneself, but certain elements should be added here and there to make it interesting for the readers.

Signing off,

Memoir writing is writing your own story, which is why often it might seem boring. But how beautifully the writer can intertwine the plots and hit the emotional resonance of the readers is what sets it apart.

It may or may not be writing to inspire others, but it is always focused on reflecting and exploring particular emotions. This is a tough job because you’re repressing your ideas, and you want it to be interesting to resonate with the readers. Hopefully, through our guide, you will know how to write a catchy, attractive memoir that evokes emotions in the readers.

Include personal stories that are inspiring and heart-touching. Such anecdotes can help those who are going through similar experiences. And if you do not want to share your dark memories, then make it fun and be the reason for someone’s laughter.

Do You Need Guidance on Memoir Writing? Place an Order at

Memoir writing can prove to be a tedious task if you do not follow the guidelines accurately. Moreover, if you are new to memoir writing, you might wonder, “How to write a memoir?” However, there is no reason to panic as is here to solve your problems.

Over the years, we have provided optimum assistance. Students who avail our service receive:

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We can go on. Our experts are highly qualified, and thus, they write the memoirs from scratch abiding by all the rules and regulations. They curate the content in such a way so that it draws the attention of the teachers. So, what are you waiting for? Grab the opportunity and earn exemplary grades today.

Most Popular Questions Searched By Students:

How do I choose which memories to include in my memoir?

To convert your memories into a memoir, think of particular influential, emotional or dramatic part of your life. Focus on key events, lessons learned and other areas to create the theme for your work.

Can I change names or details in my memoir to protect privacy?

A memoir works best when there are personal elements involved. But that does not restrict the writer’s right to hide real people’s identities to protect their privacy. You can always change the names of people, areas, schools and more to keep your identity hidden.

How do I overcome writer’s block when writing my memoir?

If you are facing writer’s block while writing your memoir, then think of something else to do. Take a break and go outside for fresh air. You can also read similar works to find a direction for your paper. One can also try free writing, where the writer has no boundaries and jots down anything and everything that comes to their mind.

How do I make my memoir engaging and relatable to readers?

Try to talk about a theme or topic to make your memoir more engaging for readers. Be honest and share lessons learnt. You can also use vivid imagery and add fictional characters to add emotions in the paper to move your readers.

Should I self-publish or seek a traditional publisher for my memoir?

The decision to either self-publish or seek a traditional publisher is optional. As per statistics, 97% of the writers self-publish while the other 1 % get a publisher. The remaining 2% spends a lot of time on reaching any conclusion.

Henry Lee

Hi, my name is Henry Lee. I am 26 and an active tech blogger based in Adelaide. Well, that’s something I do out of passion. To earn a livelihood, I work as a full-time English writing expert at I write academic blogs, mainly focused on English and Literature writing. I have 4+ years of experience of guiding students on essays writing on different categories of topics. Apart from this, I love to keep myself updated on the latest happenings in technology. I love new gadgets as much as I love writing. So, when I am not writing, you’ll probably find me indulged in a gaming session or researching about the latest trend in technology. 

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