Video 3 Transcript
What on earth are you going to put into your memoir?
Hi, It’s Cecily Paterson from the Red Lounge for Writers with you.
A lot of people want to write their memoir, and tell their story, get stuck before they even begin.
“I don’t even know what I would put in my memoir.” “what would I write about?”
So let’s break this down and give you some answers.
First up, a memoir is different from an autobiography. An autobiography tells the story of your whole life.
A memoir takes a bit of your life, and tells that story.
And it’s usually the story of a challenge you faced, or something you experienced, or some situations you went through.
So you’re going to choose a particular part of your life to write about.
Now, life isn’t always divided up neatly into segments. I get that. Events merge into each other and this bit affects that bit. So how do you know where to start and where to stop when you’re choosing one part to write about?
Think about the period of life you’re going to write about. Now Ask this question: what was the point at which everything changed?
That right there, is where you can start.
Something happened. You heard a song with a lyric which made you see things differently. You accidentally missed your train and randomly met the love of your life. You woke up with a pimple on your nose and knew you had to make a product to get rid of pimples forever.
It doesn’t matter what it is. But there’s always a point at which everything changes. Where things can’t be the same as they were before.
That’s the beginning of your story.
What about the ending of your story?
Ask this question: at what point did things seem to be resolved? If you were in a crisis, or an adventure, or on a journey, but you’re not anymore, it must have stopped at some point. Maybe it was a subtle ending and you didn’t notice it at the time. But think back: when were things basically resolved? That’s where you end your memoir.
Is it really that simple? What about other parts of my life that come into the story?
Of course, our past plays into every part of our present. Things that happened before the events of your memoir are going to be relevant. They’ll explain why you reacted the way you did, or why you decided to do this, rather than that.
But that’s okay. As long as you’ve got broad boundaries around the beginning and the end of your story, you can still bring in bits and pieces from your past, if they’re relevant and they help explain the main story better. Drop them in here and there where they’re needed.
That’s a tiny little bit about what needs to go into your memoir. I’ve got a whole course on memoir writing. It’s super-practical, easy and clear. It’s for people who’ve never written a memoir before and feel pretty nervous and unsure about it. I know how that feels. I wrote a memoir for the first time too, once, and I was scared silly!
In our Red Lounge for Writers Memoir course, I’m there to hold your hand and take you through every step you need to do to write your story.
We’ve got all the information and the learning you need.
We’ve got the support and encouragement you need.
And we’ve got a Facebook group of people who are all doing the same thing, ready to help each other.
I really hope you’ll join me for Write Your Memoir. For more information or to get right into it, click below.
I can’t wait to see you there.
And as a little extra...
To say thank you for watching all three of the videos in this Mini-course, we'd love to give you this bonus Memoir Inspiration Worksheet. It'll help you figure out the structure of your story and what goes where.
So, what's next?
If you thought these videos were a little bit helpful (and, let's be honest, they were only really a smidgin of what you need to know when you're structuring, planning and writing your memoir) why not check out our Write Your Memoir course?
Write your Memoir is a 12-week course that will give you all the tools and skills you need to:
- plan and structure your memoir
- decide what to put in and what to leave out
- write so that people want to read it
- keep going until you're finished
In Level 1 you'll learn, step by step, everything you need to know to create your chapter-by-chapter plan for your story.
In Level 2 you'll be given the tools you need to make your writing even better. You'll learn the most common mistakes amateur writers make and how to fix them. And you'll be given support and help as you do the work of actually writing.
In Level 3, you have five hours of personalised help from the course tutors. Use it how you like: for editing, asking questions or bouncing ideas.
Start with Level 1 and move up as you go, or sign up for all three Levels. It's your choice.