The Typical Structure
A memoir is a writing piece revealing a reflective element that centers on a single motif and theme. It gives an account of the writer’s personal experience. There isn’t just one format for writing a memoir and your content can vary depending on your preferred style and kind of information you share.
- Write a hook: You should introduce what you want to share in an interesting manner that makes one want to keep reading. It doesn’t have to be too revealing but with a little vagueness to raise the curiosity of your readers. Keep in mind that the best hooks aren’t in the form of questions, so avoid rhetorical.
- Create a scene: This is where you provide the basic information for your readers to capture an initial imagination that builds throughout the story. Describe with sensory details.
- Thesis statement (optional): You may use a thesis statement to illustrate the theme of your story.
- Plot: This should be defined by the beginning, middle and ending of your story.
- Show! Don’t tell: Expand further on the sensory details you describe for your readers to develop an imaginary setting. Use strong verbs that enhance the plot and setting such as: My heart leapt as the dark shape of a brown grizzly lurched towards me out of nowhere.
- Transitions: This is a technique that employs writers to include a “move from action to reflection” statement. That is, one must include a connection from the initial paragraph to the next, and between other paragraphs.
- You should provide a summary of your experience in a reflective manner here. What did you learn from the experience? How has the experience affected your life today?