Ordinary Life into Memoir A Plus

Readers are interested in how ordinary people solved a situation and made “good” of it. Famous is fine to read but it’s people like the reader that they can best relate to.

For those of us who live ordinary lives but something happened that seems extra- ordinary, you may decide to write a memoir of what you learned from the experience.  You need to decide when the experience really started and what time period you want to cover. It will usually not be the whole life but the beginning of a journey or change until you are “new” and ready to move on.  Early life details that relate to who you are or to the experience can be done in flashbacks, if you wish. Then think of an incident that is an action like going through a plate glass window or the first sign of …. or being in the middle of leaving. Being in the middle of it will help the memoir start off with a bang because you are in present time. Describe the incident to us in all its details with all your senses. Then, what happens next, next, next..leaving out unimportant incidents although it’s ok to let reader know a little of the every day between incidents.

I usually ask for the first ten pages to review, as a coach. I want to get a sense of you as an unedited writer and your voice. I look for specifics in writing including details, senses, and strong verbs. Even beginning writers can be good at this as we all have heard and read stories all our lives. New writers are encouraged to allow me to review their work and often find the experience of writing the memoir is as valuable as the important action.

I won’t do a close edit at first because you are just getting it down. Sometimes I edit, especially at first, just to stop the repeat of a problem like how to deal with quotation marks, how to keep yourself on tract and in focus or how to use transitional phrases to tie subjects together.

I can usually get the comments back in a few days. I only work with the amount of writers I can work with quickly, since most want this. At this point we can decide if we want to work together.




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