First of all while I was deep in my illness and self-hatred I would never think I had a right to give advice on anything . Now, because of my healing and because I’ve read many memoirs out there that do suck, I thought I would put my 2 cents in. I am almost sure my memoir “From Agoraphobia to Zen ” doesn’t suck. I say almost sure because I am sure someone out there would disagree with me.
My part one will be brief.
1. Don’t disrespect your readers.
a. Don’t publish a diary that even you would be bored by
b. know what your point is in writing your memoir and don’t assume your reader will get it if you are not sure
c. edit the dog gone book,
d edit the damn book (this needs to be repeated)
2 No self-pity allowed
a I know you have been through the fire (we all have) but try to step out of your narrative and tell the story
b. If it is sad, gritty, traumatic , show it by the story and try not to comment or show your anger, revenge, hate etc
showing the story will be enough for your readers to be moved by it
3. Structure your memoir
a. Every chapter should have
exposition — introducing your characters and a sense of place and time
conflict.- without it you don’t have a memoir. You have conflict that is why we write memoir
climax – self-explanatory but every chapter needs one as well as the book as a whole
falling action. this could be a quote, tying up the loose ends or showing what you learned from the experience – every chapter should have this
This is such an important part I will do a part 2 on this subject. Words are how you tell your story, Make every word count. have beauty in your words and make them reach your readers
I hope my post helps memoir writers in their journey. I am a big fan of memoir and I want all your stories to shine – I think a lot do because our stories are so important to us, but know we have to make them important to our readers Aloha