“Memoir isn’t the summary of a life; it’s a window into a life” ~ William Zinsser
It was a good turnout on Monday when I spoke with the Routt County Council on Aging about memoir writing. We discussed how to begin writing, ways to stir the memory pot and shorter forms of beginning to create a picture of one’s life.
During the Q & A period, at the end of my presentation, there were a number of very thoughtful questions asked.
One woman wanted to know whether you can start your life story in the here and now and work backwards. “Yes”, I told her, “lots of people do that.” In order to handle it well, it helps to have good developmental editing and perhaps a more skilled author. Flashbacks and the use of various scenes are helpful in writing backwards. We also discussed the importance of selecting only those significant life vignettes that have contributed to forming you as the person you are, rather than including an entire lifetime from beginning to end.
The same woman then followed up with another thoughtful question inquiring whether individual stories can be used as a memoir. I suggested she stitch the stories together with a common thread. Then I went on to mention the common themes that run throughout my award-winning memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, a collection of short stories(anthology).
After the presentation was wrapped up a number of individuals mentioned they are currently working on or have dreams of writing children’s books or novels. Others wish to write their memoirs or tales about other family members. I hope they all actively pursue their writing interests because the good news is
See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling. Have a great day everybody! This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected or short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.