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Writing Memoir Leads

Writing Memoir Leads

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Writing Memoir Leads

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  1. Writing Memoir Leads Grabbing the reader’s attention with an interesting opening

  2. Types of Leads ~ Descriptive • Descriptive leads ~ These ‘set’ the scene by painting a picture in the reader’s mind. • “The doorman of the Kilmarnock was six foot two.  He wore a pale blue uniform, and white gloves made his hands look enormous.  He opened the door of the yellow taxi as gently as an old maid stroking a cat.”       --Raymond Chandler

  3. Suspense Leads • Suspense leads create curiosity in the reader’s mind and leave them wondering what will happen next. • “Suddenly everything stops.”       --Alison James • “You must not tell anyone,” my mother said, “what I am about to tell you.”       --The Woman Warrior • “Every so often that dead dog dreams me up again.”       --Stephanie Vaughn

  4. Question Leads • Question leads immediately draw the reader into the memoir, inviting the reader to ponder the events that lie ahead. • “Why on earth had she shown up after ten long years, and what was that expression of fury on her face?” • “If I had a crystal ball to predict my day ahead, would I have done anything differently?”

  5. Leads that introduce the narrator • ‘Narrator’ leads introduce the reader to the narrator, acquainting the reader with the main character in the memoir. • “The name my family calls me is Morning Girl, because I wake up early always with something on my mind.”       --Michael Dorris

  6. Conflict Leads • Conflict leads present the central conflict to the reader for immediate consideration. • “At the age of six, our family was faced with a beast of a threat that would proceed to tear us apart, piece by piece.”

  7. Thematic Leads • Thematic leads hint to the reader at the ‘life’ lesson that the memoir will teach. • “I was six years old when my mother taught me the art of invisible strength.”       --Amy Tan

  8. Writing Closing Lines Create a final mood for your reader with a thoughtful closing line

  9. Closing Lines • Closing lines can be poignant, cliff hangers, melancholy, optimistic, open ended, nostalgic. They can cause the reader to ponder the future, reflect upon the past, walk away with optimism and a sense of finality or defeat and tension.

  10. From “The 100 Best Closing Lines from Books” • "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.“ -The Great Gatsby, F.Scott Fitzgerald • “After all, tomorrow is another day.“ -Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell • “But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.” -The House At Pooh Corner, A.A. Milne • “He is coming, and I am here.“ -The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger • “In the meantime, she would just live.“ -P.S. I Love You, Cecelia Ahern

  11. Closing Lines cont. • “He loved Big Brother.“ -1984, George Orwell • “Oh, my girls, however long you may live, I never can wish you a greater happiness than this.“ -Little Women, Louisa May Alcott • “A LAST NOTE FROM YOUR NARRATOR. I am haunted by humans.“ -The Book Thief, Markus Zusak • “The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well.“ -Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling • “Are there any questions?“ -The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood • "I ran with the wind blowing in my face, and a smile as wide as the valley of Panjsher on my lips. I ran.“ -The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini