Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

Three Mini-Memoirs Model Effective Writing

The top three winning entries in the Redwood Writers 2013 Memoir Contest offer insight into writing a memoir.
Three Mini-Memoirs Model Effective Writing
Redwood Writers is a group of California writers who support each other’s writing efforts. The group holds writing contests throughout the year and has posted the top three winners of its 2013 Memoir Contest online. These mini-memoirs are a quick read and can provide inspiration in your own memoir writing:
First Place: The Egg Slicer by Simona Carini. This winning entry provides a model for crafting a chapter about what seems like a very minor aspect of your life. Carini skillfully uses something small—her affection for her mother’s egg slicer—to communicate much about her relationship with her mother, her grief upon her mother’s death and her process of finding her own voice at the feet of a daunting authority figure.
Second Place: Crimes of Passion by Jan Edwards. The second-place finisher gives the reader a glimpse into the mind of the occasional shoplifter. The author is boldly honest, neither apologizing nor analyzing beyond matter-of-factly reporting her own rationalizing. The writing keeps the reader engaged, and we want to know whether the behavior continues past the end of the vignette.
Third Place: Gulf Stream by Elspeth Benton. Sharing some blurry childhood memories, the author combines those seemingly accurate memories with speculation and questions. She’s skilled in turning her lack of information about her mother and grandfather into an interesting story. By exploring the motivations and behavior of people so directly connected to her, she’s implicitly looking inward as well, trying to define who she is in light of where she came from.
All three winners are good at focusing on just a couple of points in time in order to convey the passage of many years. You experience your life’s occurrences both as they happen and later when you remember them.
http://redwoodwriters.org/wp-content/uploads/EggSlicerMemoir2-3.pdf
http://redwoodwriters.org/wp-content/uploads/Crimes-of-Passion-light-edit-21.pdf
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Redwood Writers is a group of California writers who support each other’s writing efforts. The group holds writing contests throughout the year and has posted online the top three winners of its 2013 Memoir Contest. These mini-memoirs are a quick read and can provide inspiration for your own memoir writing:

First Place: The Egg Slicer by Simona Carini. This winning entry provides a model for crafting a chapter about what seems like a very minor aspect of your life. Carini skillfully uses something small—her affection for her mother’s egg slicer—to communicate much about her relationship with her mother, her grief upon her mother’s death and her process of finding her own voice at the feet of a daunting authority figure.

Second Place: Crimes of Passion by Jan Edwards. The second-place finisher gives the reader a glimpse into the mind of the occasional shoplifter. The author is boldly honest, neither apologizing nor analyzing beyond matter-of-factly reporting her own rationalizing. The writing keeps the reader engaged, and we want to know whether the behavior continues past the end of the vignette.

Third Place: Gulf Stream by Elspeth Benton. Sharing some blurry childhood memories, the author combines those seemingly accurate memories with speculation and questions. She’s skilled in turning her lack of information about her mother and grandfather into an interesting story. By exploring the motivations and behavior of people so directly connected to her, she’s implicitly looking inward as well, trying to define who she is in light of where she came from.

All three winners are good at focusing on just a couple of points in time in order to convey the passage of many years. You experience your life’s occurrences both as they happen and later when you remember them.

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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!