How Do You Start to Tell Your Story?

Real lives can have twists and turns that no fiction writer could ever dream up. I routinely speak and correspond with people that genuinely have fascinating life stories. If written, their story—their memoir—will make an excellent book.

One of the most frequent questions I get is, “I want to write my memoir or a story about my life, how do I start?

The best memoirs (most popular commercially) are those written just like telling a story. They start with the main character in a situation that hooks the reader and gets them engaged and curious as to, ‘What happens next.

Start with that step…

For those of you who want to write your story, within your journal, notes or from memory, find a critical moment and event that stands out in your life. Try to get that down, even in rough form, for your first block of writing to get things rolling. Then using the rest of your notes and remembrances get all the components—the major events—of your story down on paper (or digitally). It does not have to look pretty and perfect (writing is a process of iterative refinement). Once you have those building blocks, you can arrange them into logical—story flow—sequence and add transitions between them so you can carry the reader through your story. Understand that what you’ve started with—that first piece—may not end up the opening of your final story and book; determining that comes after you’ve written a rough draft and you go through re-writes to polish the story to find what works best.

With a starting point, you can build momentum to continue writing and complete your story. The journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step. Remember writing a book (your story) is done one word-one sentence at a time!

Want a free copy of my guide (an ebook) to help you get started? Check out its details here but remember to contact me via email to request it free:

How to Get Started on Your MEMOIR by Dennis Lowery

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PLEASE READ: This--below--is where intelligent comments are exchanged and threads of meaningful and thought-provoking discussion can take place. Some of my favorite stories I've written started with such exchanges and through them I've met some truly wonderful people. This comment section is a place where it's almost old-school in that responses--if one is needed--may not be immediate but will come. Kind of like postal mail correspondence, an easier pace that allows thoughtfulness and not knee-jerk fingers flying over keyboard replies, or something that comes out as top of mind, a stream of conscious superficiality. I hope to hear from and interact with you on anything I've written that sparks a thought or urge to comment.

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