Here’s my latest brainwave: memoir short stories. That’s as opposed to one long narrative memoir. There are a lot of advantages to writing this way, but first let me tell you why this is important for you. Lately, a lot of would-be memoirists have been contacting me, overwhelmed with the idea of writing their life stories. Sure, they’d love for me to do it for them, but that costs money. Suddenly they realize they’re going to have to do it themselves and they just about have a heart attack. So, I’ve come up with a method that enables these clients to both access my services and also learn to do some of the work themselves. It all centers around writing memoir short stories.
Lengthy Narrative Vs. Memoir Short Stories
Typically, I write a memoir as one long 250-page narrative divided into chapters. That means there are plots and subplots and character development and suspense and foreshadowing and all of it. A memoir like that can cover any amount of your life, but typically its a bit of an epic story about several decades of your personal and professional growth. Don’t try this at home, kids. I mean, you can if you want to dedicate many years of your life to learning story structure and writing technique. But if not, there’s a better way. If you restructure your book idea into memoir short stories, it’s going to be something you can handle on your own with just some editorial assistance from a ghostwriter or editor of your choice.
The Unique Challenges of Short Stories
The gist of what I’m trying to get across to students is that once they select the memories they want to talk about, they need to figure out all the basic things a story requires–the setting, the rising action of the story, the climax, and the conclusion, as well as what is the point of this story? What’s your observation of the world based upon these events? In order to figure these things out, though, you need to really understand what conflict is and what it is to make a concise observation of humanity. When you get good at figuring out these things, which are the mechanics of writing, you’ll see your memoir short stories from a writer’s perspective instead of just as memories. Then, writing your memoir will actually be fun!
A Ghostwriter is Great for Editing Short Stories
When you have learned to construct your memoir as a series of meaningful short stories instead of one long story with a single philosophical take-away, then you’ll benefit from having a ghostwriter or editor tackle the project. You can write it yourself and have an editor perfect it for you, or you can simply give your ghostwriter the specific details of the story and have her write it for you. In either case, this will be a lot more affordable than hiring a ghostwriter to pen your entire memoir and it’ll also be a way you can be deeply involved in the creation of the memoir without having to be “a writer” per se.
If you’re interested in taking any of my classes on the different aspects of writing memoir short stories, go ahead and contact me!