…Title, Topic, Theme and Takeaways
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.
If you’re famous, think no further. Anything you write about your life will interest your readers, who are probably also your fans. The topic of your memoir is you.
But most memoir writers are not famous. People won’t read your memoir because they’re interested in the life behind the author. They’ll read it because they’re interested in the topic of the memoir, whether because they’ve had similar experiences, or know others who have, or are simply interested to read about how you coped with what life threw at you.
So you need to have a theme, or several themes. You need to know the messages you want to tell your readers. And then, as you write, you have to stay focused on those themes. Don’t wander off into unrelated memories, however humorous or sad or heart-warming they are. Everything in your memoir must be related to your topic. Every scene should add to the thoughts you want your readers to take away.
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7 replies on “A-Z Challenge: T is for…”
You make a great point. For a memoir writer that isn’t in a celebrity status, readers will seek it out to read about things they can relate to so I can see how having a relatable theme – and sticking to it throughout the memoir – can be very important.
You’ve got a good understanding of what comprises memoir. Themes are also important because they help you in the marketing process. Check out the series of guest posts that I’ve got on the topic of Themes and Premise. This series will resume after the A – Z Challenge.
Thanks, I will.
I prefer memoirs of ordinary people with a story to tell rather than celebrities. My favorite memoir of all was Angela’s Ashes, but then it made the author a celebrity!
That’s true 🙂
This post really peaked my interest.