Your Memoir as a Collection of Short Stories

Still focusing on the essay, “How to Write a Memoir” by William Zinsser, let’s discuss one of the essay’s central themes—gathering up all of your life’s major stories. When you think of your memoir in that way, it’s easier to structure. Tackle one story at a time just as you lived one episode at a time, and when you’re finished you will have described an entire life. It’s also more interesting to the reader than going through year by year and giving a laundry list of your schools, romances, workplaces and favorite foods.

In the essay, Zinsser advises, “Your biggest stories will often have less to do with their subject than with their significance—not what you did in a certain situation, but how that situation affected you and shaped the person you became.” So consider the person you are and how you would want your great-great-grandchildren to think of you. Then think back to your life’s stories that developed that person.

We’re all a product of our time, so include colorful anecdotes that help the reader envision the setting. Perhaps you’ll describe your dad’s car or the outfit your mother wore to church or bicycling by yourself all over the countryside at a young age. If you feel that your birth order helped to shape you, write about your interactions with your siblings and parents. If the army changed your outlook, recall a couple of pivotal stories from that time rather than detailing everywhere you went. If you had to choose one influence that really helped to define you, what would it be? Keep that influence in mind as you write.

We’re all a product of our time, so include colorful anecdotes that help the reader envision the setting. Perhaps you’ll describe your dad’s car or the outfit your mother wore to church or bicycling by yourself all over the countryside at a young age. If you feel that your birth order helped to shape you, write about your interactions with your siblings and parents. If the army changed your outlook, recall a couple of pivotal stories from that time rather than detailing everywhere you went. If you had to choose one influence that really helped to define you, what would it be? Keep that influence in mind as you write.
p://theamericanscholar.org/how-to-write-a-memoir/#.UaTLItKsjTo

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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 that extra 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. SCHEDULE A CALL TODAY if you’d like to talk about what’s right for you. One year from now, you can be holding your published memoir in your hand. And at that point, it will be a big deal!