Daily Archives: April 25, 2013

The List You Need to Write a Memoir

Elyse here.  As some of you know, I’m currently taking a Memoir Writing Course to help get me focused on writing up my memoir about my psychotic, alcoholic German Shepherd, Goliath. Luce of Writersite.org, posted this really helpful list of things to keep in mind when writing a memoir that I wanted to share with anyone who is struggling like I am!

For those anxious to see what my memoir is about, see these posts. Because you guys encouraged me, you know.  So it’s all your fault.

For Medicinal Purposes Only

What’s in a Name?

Dogs and Other Nuts

Luanne Castle: Poetry and Other Words (and cats!)

I started working on my memoir an embarrassingly long time ago. When I started I thought I knew what a memoir was–after all, I’d read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. It’s the story of Maya Angelou’s childhood.  OK, I could do that.  I didn’t have a similar experience–not even close–but I had my own events to write about.

What I didn’t realize when I started was that a memoir isn’t just telling what happened to me in chronological order.  The story is all in how you slice it, according to Tristine Rainer (I’ve written about her great advice several times).

In order to write a memoir I had to figure these things out:

  1. Exactly what story I wanted to tell.  After all, I have had a full life and could probably mine several books out of it.  To focus on one particular story, I took the advice of…

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