Three Things to Find Before You Write Your Memoir

Pages Unbound | Book Reviews & Discussions

Find Your (Original) Story

If you’re thinking of writing a memoir, you probably already know you have an interesting story to tell. The next step is figuring out what’s different about your story, and how you’re going to pitch that difference to readers. If they’ve already read six chronicles of life-changing backpacking trips across Asia, what’s the hook that’s going to make them want to pick up yours?

Find Your Focus

When writing about your own life, it’s tempting to start at your birth and keep chugging along until the present-day. However, readers will be more interested if you stick to the most fascinating parts of your life. If your memoir is about your experience touring with a band in the 80’s, you’ll want to set the bulk of your book in that decade, since that’s where the action is. A reference to the fact you were given your first…

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  1. This is useful advice, not just for memoir writing but for other forms of life writing. Find the ‘hook’ that gets your reader in, and you’re half way there. The beginning needs to ‘grab the reader (or agent, or publisher) by the throat, if your aim is publication.

    1. “The beginning needs to ‘grab the reader (or agent, or publisher) by the throat,’ if your aim is publication.” Thank you Dina for this advice. I’m still trying to find my “killer” hook. Easier said than done. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment on my blog.

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