Memoir Mini-course


Here's the Memoir Mini-course Video 2

In this video we look at the three essential elements of any memoir. Just like a stool needs all of its legs to stand on, your story needs all three of these elements. If you're missing one of them, your story will fall flat and readers will be disappointed.

To press play click on the little triangle on the picture above.

After seeing the video, you can download the worksheet by clicking the button below. Print, grab a pen and a cuppa, and get thinking and writing about your memoir.


Video 2 Transcript

If you'd rather read than watch, we understand. Here's the transcript of this video.


The three essential things you must have in your memoir.

Hi, It’s Cecily Paterson from the Red Lounge for Writers.  And right now I’m going to share with you three things that are absolutely essential to put into your memoir.

But first? What’s a memoir?

Basically: It’s a real life story about something that happened to you, and how it affected you.

Did you get that? Something that happened, to you, and how it affected you.

First thing: something that happened

This is usually the easiest part of the memoir content. Something interesting happened to you and you want to write about it.  Maybe you hiked a long trail, you took a trip to India and ate good food, you spent a week with a film star.


Most of us are pretty clued in on what the events are in our memoir. So that’s great.

But there’s more.

Second thing: something that happened to you

You, as a person – as a three-dimensional character need to be in that memoir. Yes, the events of your memoir are interesting.

But even more interesting is you, the person, in the middle of those events. You need to be prepared to share yourself, and not just show up in the best possible light. Who are you? What do you want? What are your goals and fears and struggles?

Are you in your memoir, ‘warts and all’?

Third thing: something that happened to you, and how it affected you

This part is the story within the story. This is the gorgeous bit. The bit people keep reading for.

Sure, the events are interesting. And yes, you as a person in those events, are interesting.

But what’s life-changing, inspiring, intriguing, and powerful about your memoir is what effect those events had on you. How they changed you.

If you’ve got that third element in your memoir, then you’ve got a story worth telling.

Now, there’s one more free video coming your way. You’ll have it in your inbox tomorrow.

In it, I’ll be talking about how you solve the biggest problem people have when they think about writing their memoir: figuring out exactly what to put in it!

But right now, think about those three essential elements to your story: what happened, to you, and how it changed you.

Check out the downloadable worksheet on this page. Go print it out and then write some notes.

It’s going to ask you:

What are the events that you want to write about in your memoir?

What part of yourself do you think it’s important to show in your memoir? (What part are you a bit scared to show?)

How did those events change you as a person?


Looking for Video 3?