Since life is essentially very good, but times are hard for a lot of folks just now, I'm posting the following tips to help you write your bio-vignette. I generally like to send out these tips from my ‘Home' page in exchange for your email address for my data base (very important!), but today they are yours, no strings attached. So do me a favor and write a story to capture your mother's character and keep her spirit alive, just because she deserves it. And, if you would like to contact me with your email address, I'll welcome that gesture...
10 Secrets to Successfully Write Your Bio-Vignette
- Write about the "ordinary." In the overall scheme of things, the events that ultimately touch us the most, those occurrences when the spirit shines most brilliantly and where the finest memories rest, often have little to do with earth-shaking events. It's the elements of day-to-day life that carry the most weight when captured on the written page.
- Focus is power. Power is focus. Set perimeters for your story so that it won't get out of control and lose strength. Once your perimeters are set, focus your power by holding fast to just those images and ideas that you intend to record in your memoir. (As time passes, remember that YOU set the boundaries, so you can expand them or draw them in to best fit your work.)
- Don't let memories slip by. Memory is often ignited by stories written or told to us by others, and there are many mental exercises we can do to shake up the memory bank. While reading and/or daydreaming, keep a note pad nearby to jot down a fleeting memory or image that has floated in so that you can expand upon it later. They have a way of evaporating if you don't!
- Make conscious connections. Look at all aspects of your story clearly and write as though you are addressing each event for the first time. Close your eyes and revisit your memories, but don't just play the old tapes, begin to look at your memories in the light of full consciousness.
- Please yourself first. Don't write for the sake of pleasing anyone but yourself. Write your first draft as though you were writing in your own private diary or journal where no one will edit your memories or judge your thoughts. This can be an exhilarating experience.
- Avoid self-sabotage at all costs. Keeping in mind the message conveyed in point #5, don't be your own worst enemy by becoming overly critical of your writing. You DO have what it takes to write if you will just allow the creative process to flow.
- Hook the reader. You must work at making your opening inviting by starting your story powerfully. But this can be done in a rewrite, so that you don't let the stress of putting the first few words down on paper halt the whole process. Browse the books on your bookshelf or go to the community library and scan the first lines and paragraphs of books that interest you. Take note of what made you want to read on (or what didn't) and then let your imagination and creativity run free.
- Create essential energy. Life's energy is the soul of your story. A story written without enthusiasm isn't worth writing, much less reading. Bring forth your energy to portray the essential energy of each event that you have found worthy of putting down on paper.
- The truth about imagination. Use your imagination in resourceful ways throughout your memoir, but always tell the truth as you see it. Imagination in nonfiction doesn't mean making things up; it could mean, however, elaborating on the facts. It is only when you change events that you are veering from the truth. Employ creative license as you craft your bio-vignette.
- Read your story out loud. Try this out on yourself prior to reading it aloud to others, since I can guarantee you will do some rewriting before you want an audience. This is a whole new trip, if you haven't done it before. You won't believe how differently it sounds read aloud rather than the way it sounds inside your head.
Reprinted from TellTale Souls' Blog.
~ Daughters and Sons Write Bio-Vignettes for their "Mother Memoir" ~