While writing about her life, she wants to be sure to entertain the reader. If the story is not entertaining or interesting enough to grab the reader, the memoir, which takes a long time and much work to create, will end up on a high shelf where no one thinks about it or reads it.
How does the writer do that? How does she make her life stories entertaining?
She uses the elements of fiction that draw readers to novels.
How to Hold Your Reader
Include dialogue in memoir. Readers don't skip dialogue. If they get bored with too much narration or description that goes on and on, they skip to the paragraphs of dialogue. Write in scenes as in a play or movie. Interaction between characters. Include action when possible.
Just as we write fiction, we want to grab our readers on the first page, in the first paragraph. Recently I heard editors say they choose a manuscript to publish by reading the first page.
Beginnings are important but first, get the story down. I teach my students to write true stories that could become part of their memoir, but the purpose of my classes is to learn the craft of writing. What is written in class might not end up in the final manuscript, but in the process the student is learning the best way to write his story.
WRITING YOUR MEMORIES INTO TRUE LIFE STORIES
Glenda Beall, 6 Sessions, Tuesday, April 20 – May 25, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm,
In today's busy world, grandparents seldom have the opportunity to spend quality time with their grandchildren, to tell them stories about what life was like in the twentieth century. Younger generations will not learn in history books what we can tell them. Did you grow up on a farm or in a city? Did you serve in the military and when? In this class, you will be encouraged to remember the important events of your life and write those memories in an entertaining and informative manner.
Glenda C. Beall writes and teaches writing from her home in Hayesville, NC. She is the author of three books and has published poetry, memoir, and fiction in numerous journals and magazines. She is the program coordinator for NCWN-West, a program of the North Carolina Writers' Network. For over twenty years she has taught senior adults to write about their lives for their families. In early 2020, she learned to teach online and enjoys seeing her students on her screen. T
Click on this link for registration information: https://www.iclyhc.org/