Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How To Tell Your Own Story Without Boring Others

Everyone has a story they feel needs to be told. Many people who are writing for the first time want to tell a personal story through a memoir. How different could writing down a story you've told before and lived be, right?

Writing a memoir is a difficult kind of writing, because you have to be able to please your reader often more than you have to please yourself. Writing a memoir can be a challenge because you are telling a personal story, but you have to make sure you give readers a reason to care.

Putting an event that changed your life can be a challenge, but when done right, it can be a very powerful story. Memoirs that are successful are written to show the reader rather than tell. The only way any piece of writing can be successful is by keeping the reader engaged. With memoirs being so personal, keeping readers entertained is the tricky goal.

Think about some of the more popular recent memoirs: "Me Talk Pretty One Day" by David Sedaris; "Tuesdays with Morrie : an old man, a young man, and life's greatest lesson" by Mitch Albom; "My Life" by Bill Clinton; "Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books" by Azar Nafisi.

What made them successful? These stories are indeed personal, universal, and in some way illuminating. They can be humorous, revealing, or profound. The one thing they have in common is that they are good reads.

Kevin, who taught an online class on memoir/personal story writing is amazed at the number of people who approach him with "ideas" for a book about themselves. Writing about yourself, though, isn't as simple as telling your story to a few friends over a bottle of wine.

To read tips and more about how to successfully write a memoir, click here.

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