Memoir Mini-course

Video 1 Transcript


Here are three mistakes you don’t want to make when you’re writing your memoir

Hi, It’s Cecily Paterson from the Red Lounge for Writers with you.  And right now I’m going to share with you three things you do not want to do when you’re writing your memoir.

First thing: telling too much

If you’re like me, you get bored when someone’s telling you a story and they get stuck on the details that don’t even matter.

“The next week, on Thursday, at exactly 6.05pm at the pizza and ribs place across town, I met this woman. She was about Five foot six. Or maybe five foot seven. No. More like five foot six and a half.”

Who cares, right?

Don’t bog your readers down in all the tiny details of your life, unless they are relevant to the story you’re telling.

Honestly, no one cares that much about our lives except us. Be careful not to bore your readers.

Second thing: telling too little

A memoir is a story about a person. And readers connect to people who are honest. If you tell a great story about the things that happened to you, that’s cool. But it’s even better if you can share yourself and your heart on an honest, vulnerable level. That’s what makes for a memorable memoir that changes lives and inspires other people.

Before I tell you the third thing you really shouldn’t do in your memoir, let me just invite you to watch my two more free videos about writing your memoir. You can sign up below.

In them I’ll give you the three essential elements that must be in your memoir to hook readers and keep them turning the pages.

Plus I’ll show you exactly how to figure out what to put in your memoir. These are the things most people get stuck on. They don’t even start writing because they reach this block and don’t know how to get over it.

But I’ll take you step by step through it. You’re going to feel way more confident in knowing what your memoir is about, and how to start structuring it.

And now, the Third thing you really shouldn’t do in your memoir: Not respecting the fact that you’re writing a story.

Yes, a memoir is fact, not fiction, but you’re still writing a story. And stories have structure, and tension and build up and climax and resolutions. If you don’t tell a story, with all the things that have to happen in that story, you’re really just listing a bunch of things that happened.

Which is fine. But it’s not memorable. And it’s not that interesting. It doesn’t speak to anyone’s soul.

So three things you should do in your memoir to hook your readers.

1. Don’t tell too much.
2. Don’t tell too little – honest and open is beautiful.
3. Respect story structure.

I’m Cecily Paterson from the Red Lounge for Writers. Thanks for watching, and go below for my two other free videos.

What's next?

There are two more videos in this mini-course.

Video Two focuses on the three essential things that you must have in your memoir. (One of them is obvious. But if you miss the other two, you'll have a story that doesn't stand up well, and doesn't hook your readers.) It comes with a downloadable worksheet to get your writing happening.

In Video Three, we look at identifying the real beginning and the end of your story, and the questions to ask to find them out. (You'd be surprised how many people don't know where to begin - or where to end their memoir.)

We'd love you to watch them and get ahead on your memoir writing. They're full of helpful information for you - for free. Just tell us your name and email address so we know where to send them to. 


Ready for Video 2?

It's yours, for free. Just tell us where to send it.