Absorb that for a moment. Think about it honestly. If you want to write a memoir, why? There is no more important question before you start down that path (or reach its end).
A memoir is not an autobiography. Autobiographies proceed, chronologically or otherwise, through the events of an individual’s life, including every point that the person believes is important for understanding or appreciating their life. That’s it.
So what, then, is a memoir? How does it differ from an autobiography? The distinctions vary from definition to definition; here’s mine: an autobiography is written for you; a memoir is written for somebody else.
In my workshop we’ll discuss what I mean by this, based on my experience in editing memoirs, and see how you might apply my perspective to your own memoir to make it something that people will care about just as much as you do—if not more.
Mark A. Clements is the author of four conventionally-published novels of horror and suspense, including 6:02, Children of the End, Lorelei and the Geisel Award-winning The Land of Nod. Over a period of 30 years he has taught innumerable read & critique workshops at San Diego Writer’s Ink and various writer’s conferences. As an editor he has worked on novels, nonfiction, poetry chapbooks and numerous memoirs, including the recently-published A Lovely Girl: The Tragedy of Olga Duncan and the Trial of One of California’s Most Notorious Killers, but Deborah Holt Larken. (Yes, it really is a memoir. And no, I had nothing to do with the title. Or subtitle.)
Our Marketing Support Group meetings will take a hiatus as we determine what resources we have for this effort.
Copyright 2021 San Diego Writers and Editors Guild