Many of you trying to write your memoirs may never have written anything of length before now. While you’ve probably read enough—both fiction and non-fiction—as you try to craft your own autobiography it can be helpful to read passages specifically of others’ life stories. If you can read them online at no charge, that makes it even easier for you.
A classic memoir, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, is a good place to start. Click here for the online version, which lets you pull up one chapter at a time. Certainly language has evolved since Ben Franklin’s time, so you won’t want to imitate the wording. But there’s an elegance to the way he writes that you can aspire to assume for your own work. Also, these chapters give you an idea of how to structure your memoir, which topics are important enough to cover, how to introduce dialogue and how candid to be as you describe your friends and relatives.
According to the website, Franklin’s is considered to be the most acclaimed autobiography to come out of colonial America. It covers his early life, travel, professional training, romantic encounters and all sorts of details of his days from his own perspective. Although Franklin lived to be 84 years old, he ends this account at age 51. This illustrates that you can create a compelling memoir by recording what you’ve accomplished so far before without necessarily waiting until you’re in your senior years.