Genre Lessons: Memoir

Thinking Outside the Books

Camera, pen, and diary. I belong to a librarian book club that reads a different genre every month to improve our reader’s advisory skills. The idea is to get us better-acquainted with the types of books we may not normally read. In addition to improving my recommendations, I’m also studying these books from a writer’s perspective. Just because I don’t write a certain genre doesn’t mean I can’t learn from those who do. If you want to see other posts in this series, check out the “genre lessons” tag.

This month we’re reading memoirs. The biggest takeaway I have from the memoirs I read is to make sure you know the scope of your story. Some memoirs span much of a person’s life (Sonia Sotomayor’s My Beloved World); others focus on one’s childhood (Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming), or a single year (Rachel Bertsche’s MWF Seeking BFF), or a season…

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2 Comments

  1. tanyarobinson100

    Thank you for sharing this. As someone who, so far, has only written autobiographically I found this an interesting article. I think I have followed all the points in my writing but it never hurts to be reminded. I am now writing a fictional book partly inspired by actual events in my maternal grandparents lives. The lessons learnt, and shared by you, definitely apply to this also. So thank you for the reminders.

    1. Other than publishing my memoir, I’ve done most of the things on the list too. Much of book publishing is learning by trial and error, so I was glad to see that I’m on the right track. Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog and leave a comment. Thanks to Thinking Outside the Books (where this post was originally posted) too!

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