What's a Raconteur?

rac·on·teur
/ˌräˌkänˈtər/

A person who tells anecdotes in a skillful and amusing way; a storyteller; a narrator

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Writing A Memoir

1. Know the Difference Between Memoir and Biography

While your life story certainly has a beginning, you don’t necessarily need to document every detail and life event. It is more important to share the most important memories and events rather than every minor detail. A memoir is meant to capture a more personal, focused view of memories. Keep readers engaged by sharing the important parts of a story or event, while allowing emotion and vulnerability to shine. Use this time to document the details of an event or memory instead of worrying about sharing a complete history of your life. 

2. Avoid Stream of Consciousness Writing

Writers often recall events as a stream of consciousness, sharing random memories and thoughts as they pop into their heads. Unfortunately, this can be confusing and uninteresting to readers. A good way to keep your thoughts organized is with the use of an outline to lay out the story and details. Following a step-by-step process can help you resist the urge to share facts, figures and dates that are not related to the specific memory you're recounting.  

3. Avoid Giving Advice

As you write your memoir, resist the urge to try to teach your readers lessons and instead focus on what your own journey means to you. Think of your story as a novel. What will keep the reader entertained and motivated to continue reading? Share words of wisdom as lessons that you have learned, rather than writing a how-to-live-life manual. Inevitably your readers will glean many of your life’s lessons, but it won’t come across heavy-handed. 

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Writing your memoir should be fun and rewarding. You should enjoy retrieving memories and sharing your emotions. Remember that this is your story. Should you be inspired but unsure if you have the gumption to write your own life story book, contact us today. At Raconteur, we unearth memories via in-person interviews, write on your behalf, and handle the design and publication of your keepsake biography.


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The subject(s) of the book will communicate their story to a writer
The subject(s) of the book has passed away and other loved ones will relay their story to the writer
The subject(s) of the book has written pieces of their life story, but needs a writer to add to and refine the work for publication
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