View Full Version : How do you write your memoir?

08-27-2006, 06:04 AM
I've always thought of memoir and life story writing in linear terms-- sit down and start at the beginning and write through to the end of your story.

I found something interesting by William Zinsser on memoir writing on NPR's website today(http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5340618), where he suggests getting up on Monday and writing about an event that's vivid in your memory. Then file it. Then on Tuesday, get up and write about another memory that's still vivid in your mind. Then file it. Do this every day for a few months, then look back at what you've written. You'll notice patterns and this will tell you where your story begins and ends.

How do you write your memoir?

08-28-2006, 03:07 AM
Frank McCourt once said that he never had an "ah-ha" moment when he started writing Angela's Ashes, he just sat down one day and wrote. Same for me.

08-28-2006, 07:38 AM
Thanks for the link, Amy! Looks like an interesting interview.

I tend to agree; a memoir doesn't need to be strictly linear. Even if the incidents aren't in chronological order, there could be other ways to string them together. Looking for the patterns certainly seems a sound idea.