Now Available-Writers' Tricks of the Trade (the book)

This book of writing tips, writing tricks and writing techniques should be on every fiction writer's bookshelf! NOW AVAILABLE at Amazon, B&N, Books a Million, and most online booksellers or order from your favorite local bookstore.

Monday, July 24, 2017

WRITING MEMOIRS FOR YOURSELF OR OTHERS



Whether you aspire to publication, or want to preserve memories for yourself or family members and friends, memoirs are priceless. Without them, the wonderful times and recollections of people along the way, fade into obscurity.
You don’t have to be a famous author or a movie star, politician or captain of industry to have a story that will be of interest. Many people feel there was nothing interesting in their lives, and often ask, “What can I write?”  Well, there are many possibilities including favorite childhood toys, crushes, adult embarrassments, achievements and even forbidden exploits.

WRITE ABOUT SOMETHING THAT HAS A MEANING FOR YOU
Write about something that had a meaning for you. Maybe your purpose is to let future generations know what it was like when you were young, as my mother did in her memoir. Maybe you just have some special experiences to share. Time passes so quickly. Does today’s generation relate to what it was like not to have a cell phone with multiple applications at their beck and call? Do they have any idea of what a 45 record was? Where would Superman have been in today’s world. Most likely arrested for indecent exposure!
What about TV’s with tiny screens that only broadcast in black and white with an image that was pretty fuzzy? Or, worse yet, no TV?
Depending upon your age, your memoir can cover anything from days when cars were a rarity and had to be cranked up to the era when every movie theater showed two features, a cartoon and a newsreel, or maybe the funky clothes, beehive hairdos and big Afros from the 60’s.
I remember my ex-husband had a thick head of auburn hair that he wore in a big “fro” back then. Was an Afro ever meant to grace auburn hair?  My hair was all teased up, and we wore bellbottoms, vests that looked like recycled tablecloths, and that was just for starters. We considered ourselves hip. My adult kids say we dressed like the Mod Squad. One of the true stories of that era became the title story for “The MAFIA FUNERAL and Other Short Stories.”
Then there was the time in England, when I—  Sorry. You’ll have to read the book to find out what happened during three carefree weeks with hunky young men. However, let’s just say the term “cougar,” newly coined at the time, fits quite well.
See what I mean? Save that memory so it won’t be lost—sit down at your computer, or pull out pencil and paper. Whatever method you use, the time is now!


Here Are A Few Tools To Get You Started

STEP 1:  JUST BEGIN! 
Remember, without your story on paper, most of it could be gone forever. No more procrastinating, because we never know what tomorrow holds.
STEP 2: THAT PESKY QUESTION: WHAT WILL YOU WRITE ABOUT?
Things that mean something to you. List every possible thing that might be of interest to present and future generations, whether you aspire to publication or just want to share some special things in your life with friends or family. It could be something as simple as the time you were stung by a bee. Did that result in something funny, tragic, frustrating…?
STEP 3: QUIT WORRYING
Get past the fear that your life is just normal and boring. Use “triggers” to jumpstart your memoir. Here are a few good ones that might help:
·       My Uncle Archie was peculiar. He used to __________________
·       My mother never really liked my cousin, Susie. She often said __________________
·       My family says I look and act like my Grandmother Anna. She came to America from________in the year____and went to work as a ____________in (city).
·       Holidays in my house were a lot of drama. One time when we were all gathered, my aunt announced that she______________which led  to _______________________

It’s easy once you get the knack of it. Just writing this handout triggered many memories for me. 

No comments:

Post a Comment