If you want to be considered a truly well rounded author, it is always a good idea to learn how to write a memoir. This is because memoir writing is a highly specialized writing form and with this skill, you can give readers an insight into your life or that of the person you are writing for.
But it is easier said than done. This is because memoir writing can be very specialized and needs a certain level of expertise to do properly.
Here are some great tips on how to write a memoir:
- Know who you’re writing for
Before you start writing your memoir, you should first identify who you are writing for. This is very important because it will not only affect your writing style, but will also affect your book marketing campaign later on. So before you start the memoir writing process, you should really ask yourself.
Who am I writing for? Am I writing for just my family and friends? Or do I want to reach out to other people. Will my memoir be attractive to other demographics? It is important that you ask and answer these questions early on. That way, once you do start you will have a more focused view on the writing process.
- Don’t get preachy
People usually read a memoir because they want to learn something about someone else’s life and experiences. People don’t read a memoir to be lectured or be judged. So if you are writing a memoir, you should avoid writing about touchy issues like gender, religion and politics.
True, you can mention that you are part of a particular religion or that you identify with a certain gender. But you don’t need to expand or push your beliefs on your readers. Just stick with the main theme of your memoir and avoid getting preachy.
- Have a set theme
When you write your memoir, you should always have a set theme. By having a set theme you will be able to set the tone for your writing. The theme could be about redemption, finding love, determination, compassion, etc.
By having a set theme for your memoir, your readers will be able to learn lessons and truths about your life. And once they finish reading your work they will be able to come away with valuable nuggets of wisdom that will also help them in their day to day lives.
- Have your work reviewed
Although you are expected to do most of the work on your memoir, you can still ask for help. By having your work reviewed, you will not only have a second set of eyes looking through your work, you will also get great writing advice. You should have your work reviewed by someone close to you.
This is because only people who know a great deal about your life can review your work effectively. It can be a family friend or a family member. By having your work reviewed by someone you are close with, you can ensure that your work is as accurate as possible.
- Tell it like a story
When writing your memoir, you should remember that it is not an autobiography. So you don’t really need to be overly detailed or share too much information. Instead, you should use truly important snippets of your life.
Use life experiences that have the most influence on you. It could be the first time you fell in love, the first time you lost a loved one or a great triumph in your life. This is a memoir, so you should only highlight truly memorable moments in your life.
- Honesty is key
If you want your work to be as impactful and multifaceted as possible, you should remember that honesty is key. Remember that a memoir is still based on fact. And although it is written in your point of view and you can add certain flourishes to it, this still does not give you the freedom to embellish it or change the facts.
So be as truthful and sincere with your memoir as possible. Be as accurate with your events, characters and dates as much as possible. When you write your dialogue, make it as accurate as possible.
When you write scenarios and events, make them as close to the truth as you can. Your readers are devoting a great deal of time, money and effort to buying and reading your book. And you owe it to them to be as truthful as possible.