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How to write a memoir!

Jackie Masters

on 22 April 2010

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Transcript of Memoirs

Writing a Memoir When you write your life story, you’re always like an explorer, forever arriving on the shore of yourself. --Ralph Fletcher Write about what you know and what you think. You get permission to write about yourself when you are born. “Memoir isn’t the summary of a life; it’s a window into a life, very much like a photograph.” “The crucial ingredient in memoir is, of course, people.” See your life as a meaningful story Look at the scenes of your life like you are looking through the lens of a camera. Explode the
moment! Include frame by frame details “One secret of the art is detail. Any kind of detail will work--a sound or a smell or a song title--as long as it played a shaping role in the portion of your life you have chosen to distill.” Remember that the story you are describing is new to your reader. Capture each detail with descriptions. Use your senses to help them imagine the scene. Here are some things to try: Fill in the blank:

I will always remember... One of the happiest times of my life... One of the saddest times of my life... One of my biggest failures was... An experience that challenged me was... Map your memories Give it a center of gravity Some thing or theme that is central throughout the story Give yourself permission to write about yourself! Memoir is one way to make sense of life and of different cultures. As a teacher, you have to make your students believe in the validity of their lives. Let's try it! Pass the Plate!
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