We’re called ‘CompletelyNovel’ but that doesn’t mean we only publish fiction. Many of the most successful of our self-publishing authors have written about an aspect of their own life, for example their travels, a personal project or family history. Writing a memoir can be a great way to share your life story with your friends and family and printed copies can also be a lovely gift.
Memoir, or Autobiography?
What’s the difference between a memoir and an autobiography? This article explains it in more detail – but essentially, a memoir can focus on a part, rather than the whole of your life. Starting to write a memoir can be a daunting task – but here are four tips to help you on your way.
1. Make A Diagram
To get an idea of the shape of your memoir, plotting out a diagram can help. Choose six significant moments in your life – and then decide which could be the ‘pivotal’ moment. You could base the book around this episode, whilst still drawing in the other five moments, or just concentrate on that one episode. Divide your experiences up by critical choices, influential people, conflicts, beliefs, lessons, or even mistakes. Play around with the structure until you feel the book has a good trajectory, with a proper beginning, middle and end.
2. Be Selective
In a long life, there will be a lot of details to remember. My father started writing his memoirs – and after months of work, is currently up to aged four, unhappy about not being chosen to be the lead in the nursery nativity. Most people don’t want to write a seven volume memoir.
As when writing fiction, you need to focus on the most compelling memories, and emotions. You don’t need to include everything. You can skip time and ignore uneventful years to get to the more exciting parts. You don’t necessarily need to write in chronological order. Focus on the purpose of what you are trying to convey, for example, how meeting your future wife changed the course of your life, and steer your story towards that. Read more tips about common mistakes to avoid when writing your memoir here.
3. Include more than just your story
Your readers want to know about you, but do include details about your family’s history, the area you grew up in or are writing about, and significant characters in your life. Things which were normal to you at the time might be unusual and fascinating to your readers, especially if you’re writing about events a long time ago, or you were living in a different country. All the little details build up a fuller, richer picture of you and your backstory. Read more about writing a memoir here.
4. Show, Not Tell
Again, the priciples of good writing transfer over, in the old saying of ‘show not tell’. Instead of writing ‘my mother had a problem with depression’, describe how this manifested itself in the details of your every day life. Read this article about how John le Carré does such a good job of this.
If you’d like more inspiration, read about the best literary memoirs of all time here. We look forward to seeing more of your life stories in print!
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In the early moments of the interview, Le Batard asked Manfred whether he knew prior to the recent sale to the group fronted by Bruce Sherman and Jeter whether the new owners planned to slash payroll. After some prodding (and Le Batard’s saying that the commissioner was lying), Manfred answered, We do not get involved in operating-level decisions in chicago white sox jersers the ownership approval process.
We did not have chicago cubs jersers player-specific cleveland indians jersers plans from the Miami Marlins or any other team that has been in the ownership process. Those are decisions that the individual owners make, and they do not have to be cleared by us or approved by us. … Those are local decisions that really are not part of the approval process. Those are decisions that the individual owners make, and they do not have to be cleared with us or approved chicago white sox jersers by us.
Manfred went on to say that he didn’t receive a payroll plan from the Marlins until two days prior to his interview miami marlins jersers with Le Batard. cleveland indians jersers More: We don’t get into, are you going to trade ‘Player X’ or ‘Player Y’ at a particular point in time, nor do we ask them to make st. louis cardinals jersers a commitment to people before they even got in and made an evaluation of their talent level, their ability to win with the people that they have. That’s just not how the ownership process works.
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But some of that may not be true
Here’s a key excerpt from a must-read Barry Jackson piece in the Miami Herald:
A source directly involved in the Marlins sales process, after hearing the Le Batard interview, said, miami marlins jersers via text: Commissioner said was not aware of [Jeter] plan to slash payroll. Absolutely not true. They request and receive the operating plan from all bidders.
Project Wolverine [the name for Jeter’s plan] called on his group to reduce payroll to $85 million. This was vetted and approved by MLB prior to approval by MLB. Every [Jeter] investor and non investor has the Wolverine financial plan of slashing payroll to $85 million. Widely circulated.
First off, Project Wolverine is ludicrously self-important and sinister-sounding, as budget strategies go. That’s the name of a secret NSA laboratory deep under the Caballo Mountains in New Mexico, not a financial schematic. Do better, Jeets. Anyhow, there’s enough careful phrasing in Manfred’s comments (operating-level decisions, ‘Player X’ or ‘Player Y’) to give him some plausible deniability. However, the idea that he didn’t know about plans to engage in yet another demo job by Marlins owners strains credulity.