Writing your memoir
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Writing Your Memoir. It’s the stuff of every day life. You, me, he, she, we…. "In order to write memoir, we need to see that literature is made out of the everyday stuff of our lives." --Lucy Calkins. What is a Memoir?. It is non-fiction. It is autobiographical.

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Writing Your Memoir

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Writing your memoir

Writing Your Memoir

It’s the stuff of every day life.


You me he she we

You, me, he, she, we…

"In order to write memoir, we need to see that literature is made out of the everyday stuff of our lives."

--Lucy Calkins


What is a memoir

What is a Memoir?

  • It is non-fiction.

  • It is autobiographical.

  • It is about one event or many events.

  • It tells the reader why the event(s) were meaningful.

  • It can be a short story or a novel.


What s the assignment

What’s the Assignment?

  • You will be writing your own memoir about one event in your life that had meaning.

  • Don’t know what to write about? Check out the next slide for some ideas…


What do you write about

What Do You Write About?

The first step to writing your memoir is brainstorming a list of the top ten events and/or memories in your life. Use these questions to help you out if you get stuck!

  • Is there a thing or place that is most memorable to you?

  • Who is the most memorable person you know?

  • What is one process you could teach someone?

  • When is the first time you… (rode a bike, went to an amusement park, travelled by yourself…)?

  • What is the most important rule you learned as a child?

  • What is the most important lesson you would want your child to learn? How did you learn it?

  • What do you remember about your first day of school?

  • What was your most memorable day at school?

  • If you could take back something you’ve done, what would it be?


Making your choice

Making Your Choice

  • You’ve got your top ten list!

  • Select your topic for your memoir from this list.

  • Do a bit of brainstorming about your selection (try using a graphic organizer… you’ll find some in the blue “Resources” button).

  • Be sure to include thoughts, feelings, emotions, and details.


Writing your draft

Writing Your Draft

  • Write! Write! Write!

  • Don’t worry about all those periods, commas, and typos…you’ll get to that later.

  • Just write! Tell your story!

  • You want the reader to “be” there with you, to feel and think what you were feeling and thinking.


How much should you write

How Much Should You Write?

  • Good question!

  • Remember: you are telling the story of an important moment in your life.

  • Be detailed!

  • Typically ¾ page to a 1 ½ pages.

  • Don’t forget to use paragraphs (3-4).


What makes a good memoir

What Makes a Good Memoir?

  • It’s true!

  • It’s reflective: it is about a meaningful experience in which the author learned something.

  • It’s in first person, using “I” and “me”.

  • It includes the author’s feelings and thoughts.

  • It’s engaging…the reader wants to know what happened!


The revision process

The Revision Process

  • Many people dread this part of the writing process.

  • However, it is not to be missed!

  • Reread what you’ve written.

  • Does it make sense?

  • Is it logically organized?

  • Did you include all the necessary details?

  • Does the reader feel like they were there?


An example

An Example

Original Paragraph

Revised Paragraph

My teacher was bad. She walked in our classroom and caused us to wonder. She wore the ugliest arrangement of clothing, and her breath smelled! Little strands of hair stuck out of her hair-do. Worst of all, she said the words “groovy” and “far out,” but the word she said the most was “peace”.

My sixth grade teacher defined the meaning of hideous! Every day, she wandered in our classroom and caused us to wonder. She always boasted the tackiest arrangement of clothing, and her breath reeked of Vidaliaonions and sourmilk! Little strands of red hair frizzed out of her beehive hair-do. Worst of all, she exhausted the words “groovy” and “far out,” but the word she repeated the most was “peace”.

TIPS

  • Where can you add details?

  • Remember those adverbs & adjectives? See if you can add those to spice up your writing!


The editing process

The Editing Process

  • You’re almost done!

  • Now it’s time to edit.

  • Check the following:

    • Spelling: Use the spell-check feature on your word-processing program.

    • Grammar: Computers even have grammar-check!

    • Punctuation: Is it all there?

    • Title: Make it catchy!

  • Finally, read your work out loud; this will help you hear your writing and make sure it sounds great!


An example1

An Example

Original Paragraph

Revised Paragraph

I have to write a research paper for my class about extreem sports all i know about the subject is that I'm interested in it. I would like to write my paper about basketball, it's a topic I can talk about at length. I just need to present my topic to my teacher who will let me know if this is aceptable.

I have to write a research paper for my class about extreme sports, and all I know about the subject is that I'm interested in it. I would like to write my paper about basketball; it's a topic I can talk about at length. I just need to present my topic to my teacher, who will let me know if this is acceptable.

TIPS

  • Use Spell-Check.

  • Look for any words that are underlined in color.

  • Read your work out loud.


An example a distant camp love

An Example: A Distant Camp Love

You could definitely say it wasn’t love at first sight on my side of the line! He was Taiwanese so he had a thick accent, way taller than me so every time I’d talk to him I’d have to strain my neck, I didn’t know how old he was but he looked 15, and he looked like such a geek! Ewww! Who’d like a geek?!?!

We met at Pine Springs Ranch or PSR for short. It was a Christian camp and my dad was director that year! I was a camper for one week near the end of July and my brother also worked there that summer so he introduced us. His name was Declan and at the first glance I completely assumed he was never going to be my type. Right after my brother introduced us; Declan turned to my brother and asked,

“How old is Tabitha?”

“Ask her,” my brother replied with a mischievous look in his eyes. Declan’s face turned red as he turned to me and asked how old I was.

…. (There’s more…but that’s all we have room for here!)


An example a distant camp love1

An Example: A Distant Camp Love

You could definitely say it wasn’t love at first sight on my side of the line! He was Taiwanese so he had a thick accent, way taller than me so every time I’d talk to him I’d have to strain my neck, I didn’t know how old he was but he looked 15, and he looked like such a geek! Ewww! Who’d like a geek?!?!

We met at Pine Springs Ranch or PSR for short. It was a Christian camp and my dad was director that year! I was a camper for one week near the end of July and my brother also worked there that summer so he introduced us. His name was Declan and at the first glance I completely assumed he was never going to be my type. Right after my brother introduced us; Declan turned to my brother and asked,

“How old is Tabitha?”

“Ask her,” my brother replied with a mischievous look in his eyes. Declan’s face turned red as he turned to me and asked how old I was.

…. (There’s more…but that’s all we have room for here!)


Don t be afraid of change

  • Final Tips:

  • Take a break between drafts.

  • Reread your writing out loud.

  • Use the feedback Ms. B gave you.

  • Use the tools at your disposal.

  • Check out the course Resources.

  • Ask for help.

  • Save as a document to submit to the assignment link.

Don’t Be Afraid of Change!

“Writing is not like painting where you add. It is not what you put on the canvas that the reader sees. Writing is more like a sculpture where you remove, you eliminate in order to make the work visible. Even those pages you remove somehow remain.”—Elie Wiesel


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