A person who tells anecdotes in a skillful and amusing way; a storyteller; a narrator
Have you ever wanted to share your life story but were unsure how to start? Here are some tips you should consider when putting pen to paper on your memoir.
1. Think Like a Fiction Writer
While a memoir is a true story of your life, you should incorporate the structural elements that make fiction compelling. Don’t merely set off to include a litany of facts. Think of how the story will unfold, what information will be disclosed when, and what the themes will be.
2. Keep It Relevant
When you tell someone a story in person, the story is centered around one specific event. Use this same approach when writing your memoir. Focus on the important details that support the memory you’re recounting, and leave out minor, unimportant details. For instance, the reader doesn’t need to know what you wore to your prom unless that detail is relevant to your story. The reader would prefer to hear about the pranks you and your friends pulled at the prom or how nervous you were to ask girls to dance!
3. Be Honest
When you call a book a memoir, you are promising the reader that you will give them an honest account of your life from your perspective to the best of your memory. Try to remember meaningful scenes to the best of your ability. Of course, it is humanly impossible to remember everything and recreate conversations word for word, but do your best.
4. Show, Don’t Tell
A good memoir shows readers what occurred without telling it. Rather than stating, “My father was loving,” share examples of when he expressed this love, such as by driving you to school every time it rained or putting your shoes by the heater at night during the winter so you’d never have to step into cold shoes.
5. Use Dialogue
Dialogue is a powerful tool that helps readers hear character’s voices. For instance, if you remember the way your grandmother spoke and some things she was famous for saying, quoting her would help readers explicitly experience her voice and feel they are hearing from her.
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.