Scribblers' Guild

Memories to Memoirs

Your Personality Type – Do You Know Who You Are?

Who are you?  What motivates you?  What stops you in your tracks?  What’s your biggest fear?  Your most pressing need?  Your most debilitating pain or emotional wound?  What lights you up, turns you on, gives you joy?  Do you know your own psychology and personality type? The answers to these questions are the ones which form the basis of your beliefs, values, moral code and […]

10 Memoir Prompts To Get You Started

What Should I Write About? Some of the first questions people ask when beginning a memoir are: What should I write about?  How do I choose which events and incidents to include and which ones should I leave out? What’s Important? Sometimes a writing prompt or suggestion can help you to get your first words down and give you a sense of direction, but it […]

How to Rivet Your Reader with Narrative Drive

What is it that keeps a reader interested in your memoir?  Why should they keep reading what you have to say?  And what’s Narrative Drive anyway? I first heard the term narrative drive from John Truby, Hollywood screenwriter, and one of my heroes. Narrative drive is the momentum that carries any story forward – a situation, investigation or inquiry that must be resolved in order […]

How Important is Scene Construction in Memoir?

Are You A Pantser Or A Plotter? When I started taking my writing seriously in 2015, I was an avowed “pantser” — someone who writes by the seat of her pants, with no thought to plotting, construction or structure.  No scene construction for me, boy!  I wanted my fictional characters to tell me their story without trying to impose myself on their creativity.  It was […]

Who Cares?

Why would anyone want to read my memoirs? Who am I to think my story is worth writing down? Who cares? And if nobody cares, why should I bother? What’s the point? There are two main questions here: 1. Who do I think I am? 2. And who am I writing it for, anyway? The first question indicates a lack of confidence or a sense […]

Mirror Image – A Poem

Mirror Image © 2018 Beverley J. Hanna I look in the mirror and what do I see? A grizzled old hag who looks nothing like me; She’s wrinkled and fat and has hairs on her chin. I’m vital and slim and she’s ugly as sin. Inside, I’m a girl with the hubris of youth. My thoughts are self-centred, judgemental, uncouth. “I’m fit and I’m smart […]

Exploring the Antarctic at 96

There’s a gentleman in my writing group whom I’m proud to call my friend.  An inspiration to me, he’s been writing his autobiography for the past several years.  He’s been an explorer, an intrepid sailor, an engineer, an immigrant and a family man.  He’s navigated his sailboat down the eastern seaboard to the Caribbean from the Great Lakes, sailed across the Atlantic, circumnavigated the globe […]

To Lie or Not to Lie, That is the Question

So you’re cruising along, writing your life story and suddenly, you run head-first into an ethical dilemma. If you tell your story the way you intended, someone’s going to be hurt. Maybe you’re the victim of a crime or even a participant in a crime. Maybe a friend or family member has skeletons they’d really prefer to be left in the closet. If you tell […]

The Purpose of Memoirs – Why Write Them?

Have you given any thought to why you want to write your life story?  There are many reasons for writing memoirs, different for every individual.  Before you start on such a large project, you should have a clear grasp of your own purpose in order to avoid a lot of re-writing later.  Without clarity, your story could be confused, rambling and full of holes.  With […]

Anachronism and Research in Memoir

When writing a memoir, it’s important to ensure your recollections are accurate.  Relatives will forgive the odd mistake, because they know you (and hopefully love you).  If you’re writing for eventual publication however, you’d better be sure your references are true to the times you’re describing. Disclaimers Disclaimers can only go so far.  Phrases like “The names have been changed to protect the innocent” or […]