ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

#6 Sizzling Tips for Writing Memoir. Award-winning memoir author Karen Tyrrell shares the how with us.

Hello everyone!

Writing a travel memoir is on my list. How about you? Want to write about events in your life? Creative non fiction? 

Memoir writing has its own guidelines, so today I invited Australian award-winning memoir author and friend Karen Tyrrell to share with us. Karen is a Brisbane award winning author of 5 resilience books, winner of 3 awards and 3 grants.  Karen writes memoir, self-help  and empowering books for children. 



#6 Sizzling Tips for Writing Memoir

  1.  Start at a pivotal point in your life. Make your writing dramatic, cinematic and intriguing. Connect with your reader on an emotional level so the reader is hooked and wants to find out more.
  2. Reveal your personal story, warts and all via your thoughts (in italics), dialogue, prose and action. Be emotional, honest and open. Reveal the dark water underneath.
  3. Write in scenes, based at different times and places. Only include gripping intriguing scenes which bring your story forward. Only include VIP ‘characters’ who add to your story. Delete the rest.
  4. Consider which viewpoint to write from. A younger more naive self or the older and wiser you, looking back on your life.
  5. Be aware of legal considerations. Be careful not to reveal names, times and places which might get you sued.
  6. Answer every question and every line of intrigue that is asked in your book to satisfy your reader.  

Good Luck J


Me and Her: A Memoir of Madness, - written from two viewpoints, narrates my downward spiral into insanity and how I clawed my way back.
Me and Him: A Guide to Recovery, - is part self-help and part memoir. ME & HIM begins at my yearly psychiatric assessment. There, my husband divulges secrets he’s kept from me for the last six years, devastating me. 

All are available from Amazon, selected Dymocks, Angus & Robertson, Mary Ryan stores, plus more. 

Karen presents writing workshops and Masterclasses. Read MORE about Karen: www.karentyrrell.com

  • Do you enjoy reading memoir?
  • Have you written a memoir?
  • Would you write a memoir in the future?
Do visit Karen's blog if you feel inspired to know more about her and what she's accomplishing in the Brisbane community.

WRITE...EDIT...PUBLISH IS BACK! WATCH THIS SPACE!!!And I remind you that Yolanda Renee and I are bringing back WEP. Here you can post your flash fiction, non fiction, poetry etc. Please join us on August 19 for our first challenge - to be announced any day now!!




Thanks for coming by today. 



29 comments:

  1. Good tips for someone who wants to write a memoir. Mine would be the most boring story ever. I guess I could market as a bedtime story.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Alex,
      Thrilled you like my memoir tips.
      NEVER give up on your memoir. You can spice it up by using strong emotions And making it cinematic using the 5 senses... Good luck. Karen Tyrrell www.karentyrrell.com

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  2. Those are great tips - and Alex everyone has a story...

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Southpaw,
      Thrilled you like my memoir tips.
      You're right about everyone having a story of overcoming struggle and impossible challenges.
      Good luck.
      Karen Tyrrell www.karentyrrell.com

      Delete
  3. Thanks Denise,
    for posting my Blog with my Memoir tips.
    If you or your readers have any questions, please let me know.
    Cheers,
    Karen Tyrrell :)

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    Replies
    1. It's great that you're coming by and encouraging future memorists. :-)

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  4. My teen years were rough and rather wild. It would probably shock some people.

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    1. Hi L. Diane,
      Shock is good. ME & HER: A Memoir of Madness shocked many and sent book sales soaring.
      Write from the heart. Good luck with your memoir
      Cheers,
      Karen Tyrrell
      www.karentyrrell.com

      Delete
    2. Ha, L Diane. I'm sure the wilder the better for readers!

      Delete
  5. Great tips and definitely food for thought, seriously! Thanks for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kittie,
      Thrilled you like my tips. Good luck with your memoir
      Cheers,
      Karen Tyrrell
      www.karentyrrell.com

      Delete
  6. Great tips. Intrigued by the POV issue - how to make it work writing as younger self? Lots of food for thought, as always.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Nilanjana, You don't have to write as your younger self. You can write from any POV you like... as long as its convincing ... Karen Tyrrell www.karentyrrell.com

      Delete
  7. Thrilled to be reading about Karen and her memoirs. She has great tips as well!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Romance Book Haven,
      Thanks so much for your kind words. Please check out
      Me and Her: A Memoir of Madness,
      Me and Him: A Guide to Recovery,
      Thanks,
      Karen :)

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  8. I've always wanted to write a memoir, but did not want to embarrass or hurt family. Which almost seems silly as they've all written me off, everyone but my sister. Someday, I tell myself, someday I will. I've considered several classes on memoir writing and attended a few free sessions, but still not there yet. Will have to read Karen's work and find my courage. Good luck, Karen, you've achieved quite a bit! Congratulations!

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    Replies
    1. HI Yolanda,
      I hope by reading Me and Her: A Memoir of Madness and Me and Him: A Guide to Recovery, you find the strength to finish your memoir... Best wishes ... Karen Tyrrell :)

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    2. So Yolanda, now you get down to it. Readers love family sagas!

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  9. I started to write a book about my life, but I too think it would be boring. Those are great tips though. Actually, writing a blog 6/7 is a memoir in itself I think.

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    Replies
    1. You're right Jo. I know others who look on their blog as their journal/memoir.

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  10. Hi Jo,
    Journaling and Blogging will help you express your thoughts and reflections on your life,
    Best wishes ... Karen Tyrrelll http://www.karentyrrell.com :)

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  11. Unfortunately, it seems everyone I meet thinks his/her life story is memoir-worthy. Few are! Memoirs are a hard sale if you aren't a celebrity--however, I have noticed that some people just like getting their life story down, self-publishing it, and having it out there for their children and grandchildren to read. I can't imagine having a memoir out there by my grandmother or great-grandmother. That would be awesome!

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    Replies
    1. I agree Stephanie that there's so many stories that would be great to read. Such as the older generation's. So much history gets lost.

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  12. I considered writing one memoir, but emotionally I'm still too close to the pain. More distance=a level head. Hopefully. Thanks for the great guidelines!

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    1. Hi Crystal,
      Thrilled you like my memoir tips.
      Hope you find the right time to write your memoir, Time and distance are the keys... Cheers, Karen Tyrrell

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  13. I'm afraid my life isn't memoir worth - which is probably a good thing. :)
    Great tips!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jemi,
      Thanks for liking my tips.
      What did you think of my two memoirs about my recovery from mental illness... Me and Her: A Memoir of Madness, and Me and Him: A Guide to Recovery, Cheers,
      Karen :)

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  14. What an interesting post, good tips for My Life Before the Charente. Thanks. Bonne journée. Diane

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