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AllyWoof
03-06-2008, 12:46 AM
Okay. I am confused. How does one actually write a memor? Is it just picking out one aspect of their life?

Ritergal
03-06-2008, 04:38 PM
Okay. I am confused. How does one actually write a memor? Is it just picking out one aspect of their life?

Are you asking about the focus or the whole process?

Tedium
03-06-2008, 05:38 PM
I always saw it as a series of highlights. Get all the interesting bits; the ones you think readers will want to read about.

jerrywaxler
03-06-2008, 06:22 PM
Okay. I am confused. How does one actually write a memor? Is it just picking out one aspect of their life?

Hi AllyWoof,

There are a hundred answers to your question. There are coming of age stories, overcoming hardship, war stories, relationship stories. You name it, it's been done. The best way to figure it out is to read a bunch and see how they work. If you want an overview, I have reviewed quite a few on my blog, incorporating lessons that can help aspiring memoir writers.

Jerry

AllyWoof
03-06-2008, 09:09 PM
Okay. Can a person actually write about their entire life without making it seem like the most borning thing on earth?

jerrywaxler
03-07-2008, 06:25 AM
Okay. Can a person actually write about their entire life without making it seem like the most boring thing on earth?

There's no rule that says you can or can't. It's up to you! The way you make it interesting is the same way you make any story interesting. Identify the desire, and then take the reader with you to achieve it.

Jerry

AllyWoof
03-07-2008, 09:25 PM
I only asked because I read someplace peoples autobios can be about as exciting as taking an 8am math class.

johnnysannie
03-07-2008, 09:47 PM
Okay. Can a person actually write about their entire life without making it seem like the most borning thing on earth?

Some can; if you haven't already, you might read Frank McCourt's three book life memoirs books.
Angela's Ashes, 'Tis, and Teacher Man.

Stew21
03-07-2008, 09:50 PM
Just remember that whatever you chose to include in writing a memoir, be it one set of events or a large portion of life, that you treat it like a story and include a beginning, middle and end - a satisfying one at that - in order to make it a compelling read.

jennifer75
03-07-2008, 09:52 PM
I agree with Stewie....

AllyWoof
03-07-2008, 10:25 PM
Just remember that whatever you chose to include in writing a memoir, be it one set of events or a large portion of life, that you treat it like a story and include a beginning, middle and end - a satisfying one at that - in order to make it a compelling read. Hmm. I wonder then if it would be best to put it off if I am going to describe my life until I do move out. I would have definately beat something then(I was told a long time ago that this was a goal I could forget ever persuing.)

padnar
03-18-2008, 09:58 AM
I read oe memoir about a mother whose son suffered from a rare disease in Readers Digest . It was simply wonderful. The story is pathetic but her writing skills was very good
padma

Ritergal
03-18-2008, 03:47 PM
Some writers would be able to fascinate readers with an account of dusting a coffee table. How do they do this? Magic! Well, that and the ability to transcend the mundane and look at the trite from alternate corners of the universe.

Writing that pours directly from the heart is seldom dull. Don't recite the calendar. Do tell how it felt to live your life, how things affected you, what you experienced and thought.

HeronW
03-18-2008, 05:30 PM
TV and movies inundate us with 'true' stories but well-written memoirs work better. We can get inside the head of the MC, we feel with them, we empathize, we experience--and you can't get that with celluloid.

IceCreamEmpress
03-18-2008, 09:09 PM
In general, "memoir" is used to refer to autobiographical writing with a particular focus (one important life event, one theme that runs through one's life, one challenge that one has had to face throughout one's life) and "autobiography" is used to refer to a chronological survey of one's life.

"Autobiography" in that sense is generally only published if the subject is otherwise celebrated.

Running With Scissors is a memoir; Julie Andrews's new book is an autobiography.