Writing a memoir about someone else

How, for instance, do you achieve the voice of the other, and how much of your own can seep in?

Writing a memoir about someone else

Not only do I devour memoirs, I also have written my own, and I coach memoir writers on turning their memories into manuscripts. Narrow your focus Your memoir should be written as if the entire book is a snapshot of one theme of your life.

Or consider it a pie, where your life represents the whole pie, and you are writing a book about a teeny-tiny sliver. Your memoir is not an autobiography. The difference is that an autobiography spans your entire life, and a memoir focuses on one particular moment or series of moments around a theme.

You want your readers to walk away knowing you, and that one experience, on a much deeper level. Angela is his mother, and much of the storyline focuses on her and how Frank saw her, as well as the role she played in trying to hold the entire family together.

Include more than just your story I know I just instructed you to narrow down your focus, but we need to think bigger in our writing pursuits.

For example, if Hillary Clinton wrote a memoir about raising a child in the White House, she would be pulling in tidbits about how she handled the media, who she let visit her daughter during sleepovers and how she navigated the politics of parenting during her time in the White House.

Likewise, if Madonna was writing a memoir about reinventing herself after 20 years away from the public spotlight, she most likely would include what it felt like to return to the music scene and how she continued to travel and perform while raising her children.

How does this apply to you? Imagine you are writing a memoir about your three-week trek through the Himalayan Mountains.

writing a memoir about someone else

While the focus is on your trip, as well as what you learned about yourself along the way, it would be wise to include other details as well. You could describe the geography and history of the area, share interesting snippets about the people and donkeys you interacted with, and discuss your exploration of life-and-death questions as you progressed along your arduous journey.

How To Write A Memoir | Scott Berkun

Tell the truth One of the best ways to write a powerful memoir is to be honest and genuine. When I wrote my memoir, Breaking the Silence: I wrote my book with brutal honesty, and it has paid off with my readers — and is bringing national attention to what is happening behind closed school doors.

One more note on honesty: Memoirs explore the concept of truth as seen through your eyes. Your story, the unique one that you hold and cherish, is enough. There is no need to fabricate or embellish.

Put your readers in your shoes Powerful writers show, not tell. And for a memoir writer, this is essential to your success, because you must invite your reader into your perspective so she can draw her own conclusions.

How to Write Someone Else’s Memoir By Maureen O'Connor Recruited by literary agents and book editors to turn celebrity confessions into juicy beach reads and war stories into best-selling thrillers, they’re the men and women behind perhaps half of America’s best-selling nonfiction. How to Write a Memoir about Someone Else A memoir is an account or a biography written from personal knowledge. A memoir can either be written by a person himself/herself, or an author can be hired to write it for them. Here are my 20 top tips for writing memoir. They will take you through a definition of memoir, knowing the difference between memoir and autobiography, how to get started writing memoir, how to write someone else’s story, how to .

Instead, paint a picture for your audience so they come to this conclusion on their own. You might write something like this: Employ elements of fiction to bring your story to life I like to think of the people in memoirs as characters.

Jewelweed in Bloom

A great memoir pulls you into their lives: Many of the best memoir writers focus on a few key characteristics of their charactersallowing the reader to get to know each one in depth. Introduce intriguing setting details and develop a captivating plot from your story.

Show your readers the locations you describe and evoke emotions within them. They need to experience your story, almost as if is was their own.

Language & Lit Intersecting memory and story March 11, by Alan Rinzler Writing a memoir is one of the most stimulating but difficult literary challenges an author can undertake. Five of the top ten hardcover nonfiction books on the NY Times bestseller list this week are memoirs.

Knock off their pants, shirt, shoes and underwear too! Leave your readers with their mouths open in awe, or laughing hysterically, or crying tears of sympathy and sadness — or all three.

Take them on an emotional journey which will provoke them to read the next chapter, wonder about you well after they finish the last page, and tell their friends and colleagues about your book.

The best way to evoke these feelings in your readers is to connect your emotions, as the protagonist, with pivotal events happening throughout your narrative arc. Most of us are familiar with the narrative arc.

Your memoir is no different: You need to create enough tension to shape your overall story, as well as each individual chapter, with that narrative arc.

That moment when you realized your husband had an affair?Tell someone else’s secret, incredible story. Maybe about a family member who passed away, a friend who is doing amazing things, a stranger you recently met. Use lots of details, and interview them if you need to.

writing a memoir about someone else

While writing someone else's life can be a challenge, it is not impossible, and with celebrities like Sarah Palin and Keith Richards jumping aboard the memoir bandwagon along with everyday people who just want to record their personal history, you are bound to find someone else's memoirs to write.

How to Write a Memoir about Someone Else A memoir is an account or a biography written from personal knowledge.

The Twenty Top Tips For Writing Memoir

A memoir can either be written by a person himself/herself, or an author can be hired to write it for them. I asked Marvin to discuss the secrets of how to write someone else’s story.

Below is the result. If you are looking for a detailed step-by-step guide on this, please also see this how-to post on writing someone else’s story. Writing the Autobiography- Step One: Create an Archive.

Technically, I do not write memoirs. A memoir is a first-person account written from . Aug 17,  · Writing someone else's memoir Discussion in ' General Writing ' started by erik martin, Aug 16, I was approached by an older relative who expressed interest in writing a memoir and wants my help.

Writing Lessons: How to Write Someone Else's Story - Marion Roach