Memoir Writing: 5 Thoughts About Truth In Memoir

Now my last post has possibly left you wondering about truth in writing down a memory if they are dependant on your emotions and ever changing point of view through time.

1.  To put it simply, as long as it is close enough, keep it plausible, you will be fine.  For example the colour of someone’s hair is less significant in most cases than the individual and the role they played in your life or memory.

2.  Capturing the true emotion, the heart of the story, is more important than all the details.  They help support the story – add colour.

3.  Keep writing. If you can get yourself into relaxed state, re-experiencing the moment, you will automatically fill in the spots you don’t remember with plausible details. Don’t stress if you place yourself in your grandma’s kitchen even though it may not have been. If it isn’t really important to the story than it is okay. Get the important bits down.  You may find yourself feeling like it is fiction after you write it but then come to sense that it was a part of your life.  Memories are tricky tricky things.

4.  If you have mixed emotions on an event you may be surprised at how it comes out on paper. It may take the point of view of good, bad, both, or indifferent. Extracting a memory from your head occasionally lets you see it’s true qualities and are able to let go of any attachment you have to it.  Kind of like wondering about an object laying on the floor only to realize it was your broach.

5.  Trust yourself. Be aware of free-floating thoughts as you remember the moment. Most importantly write. The truth of the memory will come out, or as closes to the truth as you need and want.

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