Yesterday's memoir posting led me to do some more thinking about the topic as I went about my day Thursday.
I mentioned that the way you present your memoir story is of prime importance. We want to recapture past experiences but a big snafu is that many who attempt to do this end up with a report of what happened. I did this. Then this happened. Next I did this. Then my aunt created a problem..... If all you do is write a detailed report as it might be seen in a newspaper article, you'll lose your readers pretty quickly. So, what do readers want to see in a memoir? (This may be subconsciously as well as what they are totally aware of.)
1. They want to be able to visualize and feel the place where the story happens
2. They want to see a beginning, middle and end to the story.
3. They want to feel some tension, no matter how small it might be.
4. They want to see emotion in the writing.
5. They want to feel the emotion.
6. They want sensory details so they can feel they are right where the story happens.
7. They want to be able to see the characters through vivid description by the author.
8. They want to be able to relate to the situation in some way.
9. They want to learn a universal truth, same as in a personal essay.
10. They want to read a good story!
Memoir pieces are stories but they're true stories. Be very sure you stay with the truth when you write memoir. It is so tempting to embellish a simple happening to make it more exciting. Don't! Eventually, someone will call you on it.
To conclude, write from your heart as today's poster tells us. If you do, you'll accomplish many of the 10 points I have listed above.