There are dozens of factors that come into play when writing an impactful memoir that everyone would want to read. Often it requires the writer to be skilled in fiction and non-fiction writing. So writing a book compiled of your memories and experiences that people will buy and extract time from their busy schedule is a bit tough – especially for a beginner memoirist.
Here are some ready-to-implement bits of advice from professional book writers. So, you can make your memoir writing easy and effective. Incorporate them into your memoir writing and make your books commercially best-sellers.
What Is a Good Memoir Exactly?
Memoirs are not about your entire life story. It is about one or two aspects of your life that transformed you and your viewpoint. A good memoir is well-crafted, engaging, and interesting real-life storytelling that depicts the author’s inner thoughts, feelings, and introspective monologues.
1. Choose Striking Opening
If the first word and initial sentences don’t grab the reader, it’s a waste. To avoid that, you can start from a dream, memory, question, or thought that you are sure will disrupt the norms. Plus, you can engage the reader from the first sentences and ask thought-provoking questions.
If you struggle to write the best opening paragraphs, consider writing the entire memoir first. Once you figure out how the narrative and storyline are flowing, you can write opening paragraphs much better.
2. Be Vulnerable
Ever thought about why people read memoirs? Because they want to get a real-life look at the world. They want to know what the writer thinks and why he made certain decisions. So, be genuine and vulnerable with yourself and your readers. It will maintain your credibility as a writer and connect you with your readers on a human level. Plus, it builds a strong sense of trust and belief between both. It translates into a long-term fan base and dedicated readership.
3. Craft a Strong Narrative Structure
Giving your memoir a strong narrative structure means writing it in a style of novel plot. It will have a narrative arc that typically consists of exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and final resolution. Ensure that the vivid scenes or snapshots of your life do not intervene with your reflection and thoughts on that scene. Otherwise, the readers would be confused. Once you weaved the real-life events with personal opinions, emotions, feelings, and viewpoints in your memoir, it will be a dynamic rollercoaster for a reader.
It can also include making yourself a protagonist navigating through the plot and getting a satisfying ending at last.
4. Focus on One Specific Event
Once you have sorted the direction and themes, selecting just one event to start a memoir will be easier. You won’t need to write your life in chronological order. Instead, select the most impactful and defining events.
To do that, you can start by noting all the key events and incidents you want to write about. Then, try to write 2-3 paragraphs for each one of them. Choose the one that sounds more interesting and appealing to the larger audience. Plus, add all the relevant aspects and occasions with the theme. Ensure that they are not off-beat. Otherwise, it will distract the reader.
5. Understand the Target Audience
Everyone will not be interested in knowing about your life or your personal story. And that’s how the world of books works. So, when you write a memoir, narrow down your targeted audience and understand their sentiment. It will help you craft better content in a compelling style.
6. Maintain Honesty
You must stay true to the reader by mentioning your life events honestly. However, you can censor private information or data like the names of people, their residences, or anything symbolic that is related to them.
7. “Show, Don’t Tell” – The Classic Advice
It is classic fiction writing advice, but you can also follow it in writing memoirs. The content becomes more layered and engaging with actions, dialogues, scenes, and sensory details. It gives the flavor of fiction in non-fiction that will make your writing unique.
Following are some tips to empower your writing with vivid scenes and dialogues.
- Firstly, try to revisit your memories via tangible things like old shoes, bags, the broken toy you used to play with, or places like old classrooms or grandma’s home. It will give you certain feelings and emotions you can incorporate into your fiction writing piece.
- Secondly, if you write a diary or journal, try revisiting its old entries. It will give you a look into what happened in the past. And what you were feeling at that time.
- Check out the old photos and videos to revisit the places you went before or to recall the event you enjoyed the most.
- Ask family members and relatives about what happened at the event you want to add to your memoir.
Following these tips will ensure that readers get an immersive experience of reading your memoir and feeling your life journey.
8. Follow Some Rules of Fiction Writing
Although it is an entirely different genre, you can employ some of the fiction writing advice to make your memoir captivating to read and memorable.
- Create characters, and give them certain voices and dialogue delivery styles.
- Start with a hook, dialogue, flashback scenes, etc. Then connect it to the paragraph of the memoir.
- Build a relevant world, and give character arc and character development to the players of your memoir.
- Follow 3 act structure consisting of the beginning, middle, and end.
The journey of writing an impactful memoir can be tiring and exhausting if you don’t have a plan and experience. So, expert advice like being honest, writing a compelling hook, laser focusing on one aspect of life, focusing on some specific rules of fiction writing, and setting a theme for the memoir will give your content a style and feel. Once you learn these tips, you can be one of the most professional book writers. Or you can hire top-notch writing services from Canny Book Writers to make your dream fiction error-free.