Writing the Memoir (Part 2)

Ronald E. Yates is an author of award-winning historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and highly-acclaimed Finding Billy Battles trilogy.

This week I am focusing on memoirs–or more accurately, what they are and how to write them. I have written about this in the past and today and tomorrow I am going to share two posts on the topic that I wrote a while back. Then, on the third day, I will share a splendid post on memoirs written by a fellow award-winning author, Marylee MacDonald. If you are like millions of others who are thinking of writing a memoir, I hope you will take a look at these posts. They contain valuable insight and some excellent advice. 

In my last post, I talked broadly about what a memoir is and what it isn’t. Now I want to focus on the fundamentals of writing that you need to master to produce a compelling memoir.
Some people think writing is nothing more than stringing together a collection of words that sound good in a sentence. That’s like a novice painter slapping a lot of different colors on a canvas because they look good together.
In both cases, the creation lacks focus and doesn’t tell a story.
The writer and the artist both need to understand and use the fundamentals of their disciplines to create something that stirs our emotions and satisfies us in some personal way.
People who write memoirs without understanding the most basic tenets of the writer’s craft are like the untrained and nascent artist who wants to paint like Monet or Degas without basic conceptual knowledge of composition, accent, and perspective; or how to properly employ the color wheel, the palette, and brushes.
There are only a couple of ways to learn those fundamentals. (1) Take some classes where your work receives evaluation and assessment from a credible, experienced professional; or (2) spend several months reading books