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Questions to Ask before You Start Writing Your Memoir

Here are some excerpts from my new book, The Memoir Workbook. If you’ve thought about writing a memoir (which is hugely popular these days), it’s helpful to ask some questions before you get started.

As with any book, it’s helpful to put together an outline of what you plan to write about. But before you can get to that point in the writing process, you need to understand how to tell a powerful, moving story and what thwarts that attempt.

And most importantly, you need to ask questions.

Creating a structure for your memoir is not about reinventing the wheel. You can and should base your structure off of memoirs that have already been written, though you may feel the best structure for your memoir is a unique one. Regardless, before you dig into telling your story, do your homework. Read memoirs that sound as if they might be similar to yours.

Think about the tone of your story. Will it be humorous? Snarky? Dead serious? Intense? A mixture of all these? Continue Reading…

3 Important Tips if You’re Planning to Write a Memoir

Author Toni Morrison said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

These words have prompted me over the years to write many of my novels and writing craft books. Often I’ve come up with an idea or concept for a book, then searched online to find the books already dealing with that topic or novelizing my idea. On occasion, I’ve been both sad and heartened to find that my idea “has already been done.”

I even wrote an entire treatment and script for a great new TV series, years back, that I called “Thirty.” It was about a group of thirty-somethings that were dealing with various issues: aging parents, workplace struggles, identity confusion, difficulties juggling career and raising children.

Just when I was ready to shop my series idea, a new TV show came on the air. I probably don’t have to tell you what it was called. Needless to say, it was a successful series, which I enjoyed, though I was disappointed my name wasn’t on the rolling credits. Continue Reading…