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Becoming the “Slice of Life” Memory Writer. EN100-722, Composition Dr. Thomas Eaton Southeast Missouri State University. What is the “Remembering” style of Writing?.

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Becoming the slice of life memory writer

Becoming the “Slice of Life” Memory Writer

EN100-722, Composition

Dr. Thomas Eaton

Southeast Missouri State University

What is the remembering style of writing
What is the “Remembering” style of Writing?

  • Much literature is made up of memory components. Within this style of writing, flashbacks, flash forwards (time jumping) Monologues, internal dialogue and even standard dialogue are engaged to outline a specific memory.

  • See Elizabeth Burg’s “What we Leave Behind.”

So how do i write one
So… How Do I Write One?

  • Be Specific in Time.

  • Be able to answer the “So What” question.

  • Create specific scenes.

  • Note Conflicts or changes – what made you different afterwards?

  • Connect your memory to life today.

  • Provide a learning or experiment theme.

Did you know

that a memory essay that doesn’t show how you have been changed by it will get a “so what” response from your reader?

Specific in time not a what i did last summer
Specific in Time – Not a “What I did Last Summer”

  • SPECIFIC IN TIME means that you choose a component of a memory and “Scope” in on it. Try to focus on the events of an hour or maybe an afternoon. Keep it tight and narrow – this is just like a main focus of a paper.

  • EX: A hospital scene – choose the time where you learned something about life.

  • A romance – choose the time and place where you realized it was not going to work

  • A Challenge/fight. The moments it occurred and the aftermath.

The so what question
The “So What” Question

  • Your text is right – if you write about a memory that doesn’t matter to you, your audience will know. If there is no growth or no understanding, or if it is trivial, your reader will be bored.

Saving a life at summer camp and how it scared you – Priceless…

Burning a marshmallow at summer camp – “so what”

Creating that specific scene
Creating that specific scene.

  • Take me to the place you want me to go. Describe it to me. Not just “a room” – what type of room? Use details: colors, shapes, light (or dark) lighting, shadows, materials, smells, temperature – all of these will help me to “See” your setting.

Did You know: Descriptors are actually adjectives and adverbs in grammar.

A talented writer can “create” a real world through words.

We want the dirt because true confessions are healthy
We Want the Dirt – Because True Confessions are Healthy.

  • A memory has to have some conflict to it. We want to know about your life – a reader is nosy. We want all the dirt – what conflict makes this memory one that you learned from?

What might they be fighting about – I want to know 

Did You Know: Hard academic writing often doesn’t have conflict – is it what you read in your spare time?

Learn from your mistakes or make them again
LEARN from your mistakes or make them again

  • A successful Memory paper has to bring us from the point that it happened to where you are now.

  • What’s different in you

  • What did you learn

  • What would you do differently if you could do it again

REMEMBER – Internal conflict is good too – you learn from it

YES – You can have a happy memory. How does it make you happy now?

Closing tips on the memory
CLOSING: TIPS On the Memory

  • Take me to the time.

  • Take me to the place.

  • Introduce people if they belong.

  • Take me to the moods of the people and the “mood” of the setting.

  • In the opening paragraph, let me know that this is an important memory.

  • As your scenes develop, so must the conflict and the resolution.

  • Entertain me by celebrating your SPECIFIC, scoped and focused memory.

  • Show me what you learned, both then and now.


Writing with passion