Avoiding Chronological Events

Avoiding Chronological Events

Memoir is quite possibly the most expressive of all the novel types. We go on a journey with the writer; the highs, lows, anger, happiness, you name it. The human brain is so chock full of information, we are best able to process things appropriately through association. That said, there isn’t a single time we have not experienced something that has not reminded us of something else. That is rather vague, but think about this: Every moment in your day you are thinking. The pictures on your desk are of your close loved ones, so you look at a picture of your sister and suddenly you’re thinking of Friday night at Applebee’s drinking $5 Margaritas; a picture of your dog reminds you of the new trick he just learned, which you saw on Youtube, and now you’re searching Youtube for new tricks, and on the way you see a video about your favorite TV couple… this can go on for hours.


Your memoir should be generally outlined in a way that mimics the way your mind works. If you are easily distractible, think about writing your book in a series of moments that connect using movie and song references that you think about daily. If you are meticulous and organized, consider writing your memoir in categories: express one memory and everything in your life that reminds you of it in great detail, and then move on to the next memory. If your memoir deals a lot with drug abuse, maybe your prose is interrupted with the ramblings of an addicted mind. What is it about YOU that makes your memoir stand apart from others. Remember to embellish; maybe your cousin Sally had 10 tickets from the parking space she was in overnight instead of 3, because 10 is funnier. Little white lies, not big huge ones. Audiences frown on that.


So… what does the inside of your mind look like?

Teresa Boyer
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