Writing a memoir can sometimes be the most intimate and personal experience of your life. Every person has a story that’s worth sharing. These stories have now found a good outlet in self-publishing, which is a sector ruled by the internet. Previously, writing memoirs was associated with successful people and celebrities.
Today, an average person can write their life experiences that make an excellent read, especially if they meet the basic standard for memoir writing. Besides hiring memoir book editors, there are a few things that you have to consider to make your memoir a good source of learning, inspiration, and pleasure for your readers. This article shares some top tips to help you write an appealing memoir.
Write like it is fiction
The truth is that any person who doesn’t know you quite well may not waste their time reading your story. After all, they may already have a lot of things they need to care about. For example, they may have many books they can read instead of reading your story. Therefore, there has to be a good reason why they can choose your book and read it.
Even after this, there are still a lot more things you need to do. You have to write a memoir that can keep your audience reading till the last page. There is evidence that suggests a reader can finish reading a book only if the story appeals to them.
By now you may be wondering if most readers are interested in a story of fictional characters or nonfictional characters. If you can write a memoir that has a captivating story, then your audience can spare some time to finish reading it. Remember that fiction stories tend to follow specific structures so that they are engaging. Therefore, you need to tell your story, in the same way, to make the book stand out.
It’s also worth noting that there are a lot more things to writing your memoir than writing a book. This is because you have to tell a story that captives the audience. To make sure that you stay close to the truth, you shouldn’t deviate from reality.
It’s an easy thing to create an interesting story in fiction. Many fiction authors tend to have the freedom to create the world of their dreams. But the huge challenge comes when utilizing fictional elements to include in reality while ensuring that it sounds like a story worth telling.
The main reason why your story needs to be truthful is credibility and general ethics. Also, your memoir may stay on the market for a long period. At the time of writing, your feelings and perspectives can be different towards the events. In other words, the character you portray negatively today can make amends tomorrow, though the way you portray them in your story will remain the same. Therefore, you should be objective so that it can withstand the test of time as well as protect you from regrets.
Unfortunately, most people tend to be too considerate about everyone. But after a certain point, being considerate can be counterproductive when it comes to telling the truth. You can choose to tell things the way they are or be careful not to hurt someone. You just need to be honest about it. If it hurts anyone regardless of whether it’s your loved one, such as a spouse or a father, then it’s their problem. Many of your readers can appreciate the honesty.
You need to take it as the chance to share some things that may be hard to do in normal situations. Remember this can go both ways. You must also be open and honest about your shortcomings and flaws.
Aside from being honest, your memoir needs you to be flawless. The readers can have satisfaction when they understand a flawed human telling their journey to a developed person after experiencing some traumas and challenges.
A memoir is not about a superhero story. The writer of a memoir is not expected to be a perfect person. The underlying theme of a memoir should provide the audience with a book that they can learn from. The authors of memoirs go through something that they want the readers to learn from their experiences.
Think about this, if all the authors wrote memoirs portraying them as if they are perfect people who cannot make mistakes, readers would not be interested in the books of this genre. People also would not even consider memoirs as nonfictional. The best stories are usually the ones that have lots of tension and conflict in them.
As explained before, it’s crucial to write memoirs like they are fictional stories so that they can be appealing. This is also something that can engage many readers until the end. However, reality and fiction are not the same things. A real story can usually be boring if you follow it linearly.
Hence, for the readers to enjoy reading your memoir, the story should have an overarching idea. This idea can be split into more and smaller digestible story arcs. And, each arc may include a different theme, though they need to be connected to the main idea of the memoir. Each story also needs to assist the progress towards its completion. Even better, each arc has to assist push the principal story forward.
Regardless of whether your family history is glorious, you were popular in school, or many more, the story should focus on the topic. Once you are assured that this is the case, you can feel free to write it. It should connect to the story and hold some structure to help progress the story forward.
On the other hand, if the experiences you intend to share fail to connect to the story, then readers may not be willing to read about your experiences. Most readers are interested in reading a memoir that helps them to find answers. It’s hard to read the entire book if there is no benefit at the end. In this case, the audience can lose interest once they stop relating to the writer.