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I love teaching through the Museum School - we get terrific students. The best way to pull together a large amount of information is, of course, a critical question for all writers, but for memoir writers it seems to be particularly pressing.
In other words, follow the chronology. But often that is not the most interesting structure for the writer or the reader. Happily, the alternatives are virtually endless.
We could, for instance, arrange our stories around Seasons or Months Firsts - first kiss, first homerun, first time away from home Houses or other places that you have lived, short-term or long Work, paid and unpaid Passions — causes, hobbies, work, people….
For instance, suppose you work through the months, beginning with the month of your birth or of some other significant event. Now I would use a variety of creative tools - freewriting, brainstorming, mind mapping, "photo diving," and more - to explore what June has meant to me at different ages.
Many will work, too, for other kinds of writing - essays, poems, and fiction. Here are some more resources that you may find useful.
The link I am providing will take you to a page that lists 28 common life themes - if any or all interest you, click on the heading and it will take you to a more detailed discussion of that theme. Those that appeal may inspire your writing, and the themes themselves may help you find a way to organize your life story or even more focused memoir.
I took some of the material I presented in class from their site.This six-page document can be used to kick off your memoir unit.
The first graphic organizer will allow students to brainstorm a physical description and personality traits of the person that they have chosen to spotlight.
Second, students will /5(11). An outline is the core structure of any type of writing. When working on a memoir, or life story, you need to crack a strong outline before setting off to write. According to Writer's Digest, a good outline will help organize the events on paper, before writing the first draft.
Should you write a memoir, or write a novel "based on a true story"? Here, Joan Jackson offers four advantages to fictionlizing the truth. Feb 03, · How to Write a Memoir. Three Methods: Writing a memoir is a very personal, gut-wrenching journey. A memoir should have a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft. How best to organize your memoir once you have amassed vignettes, story segments, and stories?
Below are four ideas for organizing your memoir.
If you organize your stories in this way, there will be a natural continuity among them based on time connection. Memoir Writing comes with The Lifewriter's Guides, a biweekly .