Beginnings and Endings for Your Memoir

By C.S. Lakin

I’ve been sharing excerpts from my new book The Memoir Workbook. Today we’re going to consider the starting and ending points for your memoir.

Your memoir obviously needs to start somewhere and end somewhere, and since you’re not writing an autobiography with the purpose of detailing your entire life, you need to spend time thinking about the time frame.

One writer suggests: “Start anywhere. Because no matter where you start, you’ll end up where you’re meant to be.” I disagree. From my experience in critiquing and editing hundreds of manuscripts, including memoir, if you start anywhere, you may wander off to Shangri-la and find yourself stuck in a snowdrift—not where you’d planned to go.

As with any journey, you need a specific starting point that will actually get you to your targeted destination.

Your memoir may cover three days of your life or it may cover thirty years. You could be writing a gripping story of the time you got trapped in a hotel during a tsunami or the year you spent living abroad. The duration is contingent on the particular story you aim to tell.

This is why it’s important to know your purpose in writing this particular memoir and your themes. See More . . . 

 

 

 

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