In my quest to become a better writer, I read to see how other authors accomplish their creative objectives.
In The Mother Knot: A Memoir, author Kathryn Harrison used Biblical imagery — literary allusion — to deepen the meaning of her memoir’s theme of forgiveness. She believed her mother’s soul was a destructive force in her life and was so consumed by it that she suffered from anxiety, depression, and anorexia.
Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, using this literary tool can give your work added meaning. Referring to another piece of literature, a cultural icon, or historical event adds resonance. Read more
One of the first steps in writing a memoir is to understand what you’re writing about and why. It’s easy to start writing and end up with a collection of events and situations. And at first that’s fine because writing a memoir, or anything for that matter, is an act of discovery. So it can make sense to write about events to get a sense of what resonates with you and discover your most significant experiences.
That said, sketching out some notes and asking yourself a few questions might just help you refine your focus and give you the passion and energy to move forward.
Ask yourself these questions to discover your themes and meaning:
1. What am I passionate about?
2. What do I want to take a stand on?
3. Fill in these blanks: I want to write about ______ because ________. Read more