View Full Version : Question regarding structure of a memoir

12-28-2008, 08:13 PM
I am just wondering if it's all right to flashback a chapter that was originally meant to be the opening? After posting in the SYW forum I realized the story needed to start sooner, getting to the meat and potatoes much faster, and so I wanted to use that material about my early chidlhood and not lose it because it's important to the overall story of my life of course. SO is it okay to start in the past, but not the distant past? And flash back before you work towards making the satisfying ending? :D

12-29-2008, 07:27 PM

That's exactly the advice I was given, three times out of three, on short (fiction) stories I wrote for a class I recently took. Starting with a large, sharp hook is so important, and yes, you can flash further back to fill in the blanks nce you have the hook set.

The other advice I consistently got was to add more juice, and by that the professor meant personal involvement, inside the head stuff. "You are using a detached narrator." How could that be? I was writing in first person... Detachment comes from failure to include enough personal perspective, enough analytical self-talk. Turns out that's harder to do in first person than third.

Hope this helps.

12-29-2008, 07:42 PM
My memoir is about a certain phase in my life. I began with the decision to enter that phase, then flashed back showing what led to that decision.

12-30-2008, 09:57 PM
THanks Ritergal & querty! Just what I wanted to hear. :D