I’ve never really considered writing a memoir before, even though my life has been pretty interesting. I’m a novelist and I love the world of fiction. It allows me to invent stories and characters and twists that far outstretch anything that happens in my own life. But recently, I’ve been encouraged by a number of writer and publisher friends that I should consider writing a memoir.
So I decided to do some research about the transition from novel to memoir writing and founds some very useful advice!
1-Writing a memoir is a story. Not the story of your entire life-I was born and I died-kind of story, but your personal journey. So in that sense, you have to use the same storytelling skills you would in a novel, but you’re working with real world characters and events.
2-Don’t whine. If you just want people to see how tragic and unfair your life has been, hire a therapist. A memoir is about the departure from normal and the trek toward becoming better. It doesn’t begin at your birth and it doesn’t end with your death. It may be the moment you first drove a taxi which led to selling your race tires.
3-Be authentic. Memoir’s have more intrinsic value and appeal to regular people who find something in common with you and your journey.
4- Be open about your challenges. If you are not ready to laugh, cry, find fault with, and kick yourself over the parts of your journey that led you to the return, then you can’t connect with others who want to know it’s possible to do the same.
5-Find your Hero’s Journey. The Hero’s Journey is a structure that opens up all of those emotional places that your reader wants to go with you. Use this classic structure to write your own personal story and then ask strangers and people who don’t know the details what they think.
You may have lived your entire life on a hero’s journey and didn’t know it until you wrote it in that structure. If you’ve taken a journey but has no idea how to write it, sell it, or publish it. Come take a look at the author services on tracimncdonaldauthor.com and I might be able to help!
In the meantime…keep reading and writing!