You can find out how to do pretty much anything on eHow.com, and if you click here you’ll see that the site has good advice for writing your memoir. In this and the next three blog posts, let’s look more closely at each of eHow’s eight tips. Each eHow point appears verbatim in italics.
1. Start with a description of your parents. Write about how they met, where and how they bought their first home, their careers and their hopes and dreams. Make a list of their best characteristics—such as generous, kind, funny or loving—and write about the things they did to express these characteristics. Perhaps your mother lavished you with gifts or your father was the funniest person in the room. Tell stories you remember about them, the ones that have stayed with you over the years.
WriteMyMemoirs commentary: This is great guidance, because its two-pronged, objective/subjective approach will result in a full picture of your background. First, you’ll get down all of the objective facts about your parents and their relationship. Second, by listing their qualities, both good and bad, and writing anecdotes about each character trait, you’ll express your subjective impressions of your parents and your interactions with them.
2. Write about your childhood and formative years. Discuss where you went to school, your friends and schoolmates. If you were the class clown, write about that. If you were a lonely child, write about that too. Describe how others saw you when you were young and whether that meshed with your true self.
WriteMyMemoirs commentary: Similarly, this suggestion brings out both the facts of your early life and your memories of how you felt when you were young. And instead of relying on your memories, if you’re still in touch with people you knew when you were child, ask them what they thought about you at that time! You can use their comments as background—or with their permission you can quote their statements directly to make your memoir a little different and really interesting.
Check back here next week for tips #3 and #4.