Not only do I devour memoirs, I also have written my own, and I coach memoir writers on turning their memories into manuscripts. Narrow your focus Your memoir should be written as if the entire book is a snapshot of one theme of your life. Or consider it a pie, where your life represents the whole pie, and you are writing a book about a teeny-tiny sliver. Your memoir is not an autobiography.
I had learned over the years to ignore them all, and simply to start. For a writer, this means being able to use language in such a way that it draws the reader into the page and keeps her there until the end of your tale.
When you're a novice writer, most of these tips will help in revision. As you practice and become a better technician, you will start to create cleaner drafts at the sentence level.
Here are my top tips for "cleaner" more readable prose: This isn't groundbreaking advice. Replace "to be" verbs, got, and put wherever possible with stronger verbs.
Again, not groundbreaking advice, but please do heed it.
If you have a strong and concise verb, you don't need an adverb. This doesn't mean that you have to develop an allergy to adverbs, just use them when you are at a loss for anything better.
Just tell the story. If you find yourself ending a paragraph with your general opinion about what you've just written, cut it. Again, just tell the story.
If you begin or end a paragraph with a summary of what's in that paragraph or of what the reader has just read, cut it. Identify cliches in your writing and eliminate them when you can. Try to offer the same sentiment using your original words.
If the cliche is in dialogue, it's more forgivable, but not by much depending on the character--some characters do speak in cliches. There's a cliche in writing that cliches have to be "earned. Keep your POV point of view consistent. If you start with "I" don't lapse into "you.
Keep your tense consistent. If you start in the past tense, don't lapse into the present tense. Can you cut a word in a sentence and still maintain the sentence's integrity?
Cut and compress where you can. Try to axe some gerunds. Gerunds are verbs ending in --ing. Often, they are preceded by a to be verb. Cut the to be verb, remove the --ing, and add --ed to the word if you're writing in the past tense.giobenitez Sun, water, and a healthy dose @StephenKing's On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.
"Good writing is often about letting go of fear and affectation," he writes. My favorite advice: "The road to hell is paved with adverbs.". Post #16 – Memoir and Fiction, Writing Alchemy – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler.
As a writer, do the comments on Facebook or someone’s blog make you want to pull your hair out by the roots. YOU NEED TO START WRITING MEMOIR and you need to do it today.
Let me help you. Here are my 20 top tips for writing memoir. They will take you through a definition of memoir, knowing the difference between memoir and autobiography, how to get started writing memoir, how to write someone else’s story, how to structure a memoir and much more.
WRITING MEMOIR USING LANGUAGE TO YOUR ADVANTAGE IN MEMOIR. Eliminate adverbs. Again, not groundbreaking advice, but please do heed it. If you have a strong and concise verb, you don't need an adverb. This doesn't mean that you have to develop an allergy to adverbs, just use them when you are at a loss for anything better.
In every one of these examples, more detail could not only have replaced the adverb but made the writing more interesting more compelling. And that, after all, is what we’re all striving for in our writing. For those legacy memoirs, a professional editor can help you focus in on the parts that matter; if you’re writing a commercial memoir, they can make all the difference when it comes to selling your book.
These are just a few tips that will help you get started on the road to writing a memoir.