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Perhaps you are familiar with Angela’s Ashes by Frank Mc Court.This memoir focuses on Frank’s life as a first-generation immigrant child in Brooklyn.For example, if Hillary Clinton wrote a memoir about raising a child in the White House, she would be pulling in tidbits about how she handled the media, who she let visit her daughter during sleepovers and how she navigated the politics of parenting during her time in the White House.
Your readers must be able to love your characters or hate them, and you can’t do that by providing too much detail.
Introduce intriguing setting details and develop a captivating plot from your story.
Angela is his mother, and much of the storyline focuses on her and how Frank saw her, as well as the role she played in trying to hold the entire family together.
Even as you narrow your focus, we also need to think bigger in our writing pursuits.
“I wrote my book with brutal honesty,” she said, “and it has paid off with my readers.
It’s bringing national attention to what is happening behind closed school doors.” One more note on honesty: Memoirs explore the concept of truth as seen through your eyes.Your memoir is no different: You need to create enough tension to shape your overall story, as well as each individual chapter, with that narrative arc.That moment when you realized your husband had an affair? Instead, you might say something like: “I learned of my husband’s affair when the February bank statements arrived and I realized that in one month’s time, he had purchased a ring and two massages at a high-end spa. He was using our money to woo another lady and build a new life.While the focus is on your trip, as well as what you learned about yourself along the way, it would be wise to also include other details about the place, your experience and your thoughts.You could describe the geography and history of the area, share interesting snippets about the people and donkeys you interacted with, and discuss your exploration of life-and-death questions as you progressed along your arduous journey.Your readers want to know about you, but it’s the backstory and vivid details that make for a powerful memoir.One of the best tips for how to write a memoir that’s powerful is to be honest and genuine.A great memoir pulls you into their lives: what they struggle with, what they are successful at and what they wonder about.Many of the best memoir writers focus on a few key characteristics of their characters, allowing the reader to get to know each one in depth.Whether you curl up with memoirs on a frequent basis or pick one up every now and again, you know powerful memoirs have the capacity to take you, as a reader, for an exhilarating ride.When I teach people how to write and sell memoir, we talk about how to tell a compelling story.