Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

Keep a “Quotes Journal” as a Memoir Resource

Record things people say to you in a “quotes journal.”
Keep a “Quotes Journal” as a Memoir Resource
A lot of people like to include dialogue in their memoirs. It breaks up the copy visually and makes the reading more interesting by really bringing a situation to life. But dialogue can be difficult to write, and that’s not the only problem.
When you relate a conversation, you’re putting quotes around not just your own words, but someone else’s words. You can rely on your memory to paraphrase what happened in a scene you write about, and in a memoir you do the best you can. But there seems to be a higher standard of accuracy in quoting directly, and you can’t possibly remember a conversation word for word even when you are one of the participants or you witness the discussion; you can’t possibly know exactly what was said if you weren’t even present.
If you’re still some years away from writing your memoir, begin now to keep what I call a “quotes journal” of things people say to you that you want to remember precisely. Perhaps it’s the “wise sayings” your mother likes to repeat as advice to you. Maybe it’s a particularly poignant conversation you had with someone. Or, when you experience a traumatic event, it’s interesting to write down all of the comments people make about that occurrence. Their words provide insight into their character as well as into your relationship with them. When you go to write your memoir, you’ll find your quotes journal very helpful.

A lot of people like to include dialogue in their memoirs. It breaks up the copy visually and makes the reading more interesting by really bringing a situation to life. But dialogue can be difficult to write, and that’s not the only problem.

When you relate a conversation, you’re putting quotes around not just your own words, but someone else’s words. You can rely on your memory to paraphrase what happened in a scene you write about, and in a memoir you do the best you can. But there seems to be a higher standard of accuracy in quoting directly, and you can’t possibly remember a conversation word for word even when you are one of the participants or you witness the discussion, much less if you weren’t even present.

If you’re still some years away from writing your memoir, begin now to keep what I call a “quotes journal” of things people say to you that you want to remember precisely. Perhaps it’s the “wise sayings” your mother likes to repeat as advice to you. Maybe it’s a particularly poignant conversation you had with someone. Or, when you experience a traumatic event, it’s interesting to write down all of the comments people make about that occurrence. Their words provide insight into their character as well as into your relationship with them. When you do begin to write your memoir, you’ll find your quotes journal very helpful.

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Then just set up a chapter and start writing your memoir. Don’t worry about rules. There are no rules to writing your memoir; there are only trends. These trends are based on techniques and features identified in current top-selling memoirs. At best, they’re the flavor of the month. If you’re capturing your life in print for your family, for your own gratification or to inspire readers, rather than aiming to set off Hollywood screenplay bidding wars, these trends don’t even apply to you. You’ll write the memoir that suits you best, and it will be timeless, not trend-driven.There are no rules, but there are four steps:

1. Theme/framework
2. Writing
3. Editing/polishing
4. Self-publishing

You’ve researched this, too, and you’ve been shocked at the price for getting help with any one of those steps, much less all four. That’s because most memoir sites promise to commercialize your work. They’ll follow a formula based on current memoir trends, because they want to convince you that they can turn your memoir into a best-seller. These sites overwhelm you with unnecessary information not to help you, the memoir author, but to address Search Engine Optimization (SEO) algorithms so they can sell more.

That’s not what we do at Write My Memoirs. Our small community of coaches, writers and editors are every bit as skilled as any you’ll find, and we charge appropriately for their expertise and the time they’ll spend helping you craft a compelling, enjoyable read. But you won’t pay an upcharge for other websites’ commercialization, the marketing that follows, and the pages of intimidating “advice.” You can sell your book if you like—we have ISBNs available for you—but our organic process of capturing your story takes a noncommercial path.

If you want help with any or all of the four steps above, choose from our services or save money by selecting one of our packages. If you’d like to talk about what’s right for you, schedule a call. One year from now, you can be holding your published memoir in your hand. And at that point, it will be a big deal!