Saturday, May 18, 2024
Author Tips

Five ideas to help you write a memoir

In writing your biography, striking the right balance between unraveling day-to-day incidents and historical narration can be a bit of a challenge.

Memoir writing can leave you wondering what to include and what to leave out. Here are five ideas to help you get started with writing your life story.

Put on a compelling voice

Like in any genre of literature, voice plays a crucial part in the flow of the story. This is especially true when you use the first person point of view such as in memoirs, in which the narrator is the character.

To write a good memoir, you must create a compelling voice. Decide on which type of voice you want to put on at the onset of your book. Funny? Serious? Angry? A bit crazy? This will give your reader a clear understanding of what type of person is talking in the book they’re reading.

Choose a narrative style

There are many narrative styles available to choose from when you decide to write a memoir. Will your biography be chronological? Or will it flow back and forth in time?

In some unconventional cases, a fragmentary style of memoir can best suit your book. It aims to focus on an important part of your life that you want to highlight in your book.

Decide how you will tell your story

Representing events in your life’s story should be utmost in your creative process, just like in fiction writing.

In addition to selecting what formative experiences and incidents you want to include in your memoir, there are various ways to represent your story. It is all about combining biographical and historical events.

Use plenty of anecdotes

Anecdotes can illustrate the story you want to portray in a snappy and witty way. This injects humor into your story about certain events.

Avoid undue reverence in your memoir

Memoirs should not be always rosy. In fact, a great memoir is best written by someone who doesn’t like you.

Biographies are supposed to dissect your life in both positive and negative lights. The key is selecting incidents that reflect various dimensions of your life.

Jay Hogarth

Jay Hogarth is ARPress' resident content manager, responsible for all public-facing information posted on this blog and on the main site.

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