Memoir must be told in story with all the story elements in place. But of course, everything must be true.
And that’s why memoir is so difficult!
Up the ante, build, complicate, add twists and turns, find resolution—in memoir. Nuts! It’s extremely difficult when it is all personal and needs to be true. And then add insight. Yes, insight in memoir as well as in fiction. The protagonist must share insight into her actions. The reader must follow along her inner thoughts to see how she works out her story problems. How she grows; how she changes.
To get emotion on the page, the protagonist must be vulnerable. Easier when it is a fictitious character you are writing about than yourself. But I understand that to be able to connect with readers, to get that “me too” feeling, I must allow them into my mind, my worries, my thoughts, my decisions. This is what makes memoir so powerful, so transformative to others. It’s about why the situation or action matters to the protagonist. Why does it matter that Victoria goes to college at this time? What does going to college mean to Victoria?
Memoir as in fiction, tough questions need to be asked and then answered. And the content of these answers need to be important to the characters. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what I’m struggling with. And this is why I’d wish I didn’t know that memoir needs to be told like a story. Then I could write my memoir like a collection of humorous anecdotes. But then it wouldn’t be as meaningful to others. There’s the reason why we authors keep looking to better our skills in writing.
This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s SupportGroup. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.
May publishing be offered to any writer who seeks it in 2017. Have a wonderful New Year!