NUTS & BOLTS of Memoir Writing
The NUTS & BOLTS of MEMOIR WRITING
#9 in the Memoirabilia podcast series on How to Write Memoir
based on the book, “Don’t Write Your MEmoir without ME’
One essential thing that fiction novels and memoirs do…or should do…is tell a story. The only real difference is that memoir tells a true story and fiction, generally, a created story. For the memoir writer, this means that just like the fiction writer, you still need to know and use the nuts and bolts of good writing to bring your entire story to life.
What are those nuts and bolts that hold your story together?
- Use of Narration
- Use of Description
- Use of Dialogue
- Showing instead of telling
Yes, all that stuff your teachers talked about in school and the use of those devices by authors in those great novels you had to read and analyze in those essays!
And before you ask, yes, like it or not, it’s as important that you use those nuts and bolts when writing memoir as when a fiction writer is creating a novel.
Sadly, I have found in all the memoirs I’ve reviewed for this website, and for my book reviewing site at VIANVI, that too few who aspire to write an interesting memoir think using those nuts and bolts applies to them. Most just choose to narrate, narrate ad nauseum. They don’t seem to realize that just like watching a show on TV, a scene comes alive because people actually talk to each other! When viewers watch their actions and hear what each of them is saying to another person in the room, those characters are revealing themselves to the viewers. They are showing us and telling us what they are really like.
But when you NARRATE the conversation, e.g.
“Bob told Mary he was fed up and was moving out on the weekend. He slammed his fist into the wall and she burst into tears, promising to try harder…” instead of
“I’m fed up Mary! I’m moving out on the weekend.” Bob slammed his fist into the wall. Mary burst into tears.
“But Bob. I’ll try harder. I’m sorry!”
“It’s too late for sorry, Mary. I’m outta here!”
well, you can read and see the difference, can’t you?
Anyway, you can read more about the Nuts & Bolts of Memoir Writing in Chapter 9 of “Don’t Write Your MEmoir without ME’ or just listen to the podcast attached to this post. One of the most exciting things you’ll hear/read about in Chapter 9 is the “Ceiling Fan Principle”. What’s that? Listen to the podcast or BUY THE BOOK! Ciao for now.
The Memoirabilia Podcasts can be listened to on this site using the provided player above, or you can subscribe to the Memoirabilia podcast at any of the links below: