Memoir writers often have a problem deciding which events of their life to write about. One of the basics of writing is that characters reveal themselves under stress. Think about a time you had difficulty sleeping at night because you were worried or a time when you were nervous about a situation. These things reveal a lot about you. How you react to these stresses reveals even more. Set your timer for ten minutes and write about a time you were in a tight spot. How did you handle it? Try to think of as many details as possible. Your final version of the story may not include all of them, but the visualization of the moment will help you to write vividly. Do you bite your nails when nervous? Twirl your hair? Drum your fingers on the table? Spill it all out onto the paper and you just may find you have the beginnings of a compelling, character revealing story.
P.S. I’ll be at the White Bear Center for the Arts in White Bear Lake, MN, on Tuesday, December 13, from 1:00 – 3:30. If you need a nudge to get started on your writing project my class, Finding Your Story, might be just the push you need. Please telephone 651-407-0597 for more information.