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A-Z Challenge: C is for…

Craft

Memoir Writing

This post is one of 26 I am writing for the A-Z Challenge on the subject of writing a memoir. I’m not an expert in writing memoirs, but I’m exploring the topic with thoughts about writing one, and am happy to share the fruits of my exploration.

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MemoirWriting-Craft

How do we get from starting to write to a ready-to-publish memoir? Many qualities make up the craft of memoir writing:

  • Memory
  • Detachment
  • Insight into the past
  • Story-telling
  • Humour
  • Ability to draw the reader in
  • Order
  • Logic
  • Understanding
  • Perseverance

I’ll be discussing these in future posts. Can you think of any to add?

Edit: Many thanks to Angela Brown and Rosalind Adam who added these:

  • Honesty
  • Self-belief

By Miriam Drori

Author, editor, attempter of this thing called life.

10 replies on “A-Z Challenge: C is for…”

This may go with Detachment, but honest with one’s self might be a consideration for the list. Sometimes, when remembering, we oft remember selectively. But when we recall things honestly, it can help draw upon more than just your one side of a situation.

All great attributes in your list. How about self-belief or something like self- worth. Can you write a memoir if you think your life is rubbish? That’s what I’m meaning. I always wanted Mum to write about her life in the Jewish East End of London as a child and evacuation to Leicester in the war but she said she’d wasted her life and wouldn’t even work with me on it. I should have started writing it anyway. That’s something that I regret. She might have seen then that her life wasn’t wasted.

That’s a shame. I expect my dad would have said his life wasn’t worth writing about. I never even suggested it. I’m not sure I have any more belief in myself. I want to tell the world what happened to me, but I don’t think I did anything very worthy.

Great topic. How about placing a memoir in a historical context, of what was happening at the time; even if the author was not directly involved in those events it helps to build atmosphere.

This is a great post! Detachment is important in all writing I think. Even in fiction I think there is a great amount of attachment to our writing and our characters. Then when it comes time to edit or receive critique we take it so personally. Mind you detachment is an important thing in all facets of life (to some degree).

Have fun with a-z.

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