What are some things to avoid when writing your personal memoirs?


Quick Answer

When writing a personal memoir, avoid treating the story as a journal entry, confusing the term "memoir" with "autobiography," and being overly concerned by sharing sensitive subject matter, states thecreativepenn.com. Do not include unnecessary characters and details if they are unimportant to the memoir.

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Full Answer

Writing a memoir requires candor and vulnerability from the author, so don't cast yourself as the hero of the story.

Memoir authors are not concerned with how much life they have lived and still have left to live when writing. If they have stories to tell, then they do. Many authors write and publish memoirs as they continue living their lives.

Memoir writers avoid attempting to appeal to broad audiences. Often, a memoir is written with a specific set of readers in mind.

A memoir is focused on the story it tells and does not drift off topic.

Memoir authors are not overly attached to their plot points. When revising, it makes sense to condense or omit events if they do not move the stories forward.

Writing in third person is another element memoir authors avoid. A memoir is the author's personal story to tell, so telling it in first person makes sense.

When writing a memoir, authors often invoke fiction-writing techniques to show rather than tell. Detailed description is important in a memoir. It is what draws readers in and makes for a compelling read.

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