Memoir Writing It’s not as easy as it seems !!
Memoir Due Dates 2013 • All memoirs due by 7 am toTurnitin.com • 1 Tuesday, Sept. 17 • 2. Tuesday, Oct 15
Choices you have to make • Present/ past tense… • If you switch tenses, why do you do this? • What “show don’t tell” methods are most effective for the piece you are writing? • Dialogue • Action • Strong characterization • Figurative language • What is your “core” story- the SO WHAT? The point? The value in this? The significance? How will you make the reader take away from it what you intend?
Avoid • Starting every sentence with “I” (except when using parallel structure for emphasis and effect) • Overusing “felt” • Overusing “said” – strong verbs apply to everything • See website for a list of words to use other than said • Overusing “to be” verbs… “She was irritated” or “I was ecstatic”. • Overwriting- With narratives- sometimes the best way to start is to write, write, write and then , delete, delete, delete and finally revise, revise, revise
Avoid • Artificially using SDT • You don’t need to be like Thoreau and include the description of every tree, leaf, bird, and measurements of a house. Use it, but use when appropriate. • Over-telling with dialogue. Don’t give every play-by-play.
Do • Try writing about different topics- see which one you become passionate about • Let yourself experiment • Copy style of others and make it your own • Write on more than one day • Share with friends, parents, etc. See how they react- if you want your reader to laugh and they don’t- maybe you need to edit. If they laugh and you weren’t expecting it- perhaps that’s a part to keep! • Sound like yourself- read it aloud- see if this sounds like you- if it doesn’t- work on making that happen. Don’t be stiff- this is NOT academic writing. • Enjoy the process.