QUALITIES OF AN EFFECTIVE
The memoirist is the main
character, the someone for readers to be within the story.
The writerís thoughts and
feelings, reactions and reflections, are revealed.
Thereís enough context - background information - to understand the events of
the story. The context is woven into the
A reader can envision the action -
can see what is happening.
A reader can imaging the setting -
where and when the memoir is unfolding.
A reader can imagine the
relationships between the characters.
The dialogue sounds like these
people talking, both what they would say and how
they would say it: Boy, youíre going to be
You will be sorry.
The place is slowed down so a
reader can enter the story and live it, moment to
moment, with the characters.
There isnít unnecessary
information: the writer leaves out what a reader
doesnít need to know.
The lead invites a reader into the
world of the memory.
The conclusion is deliberate: it
represents a writerís decision about hoe to leave
his or her readers.
The writer isnít acting as a
reporter: the writing is subjective, the writerís
The writer invents details that
fit with the specific memory and the writerís theme
The memoir sounds and feels like
literature and not reportage.
The reader learns something about life by reading about a life.
- The voice is first person
singular: I, not we, one, or you.