Thursday, March 10, 2016

Give muscle to your memoir's ending

Your memoir's ending needs to have muscle. Impact. That's the "A-ha!" part.

How will you conclude your memoir? What will your ending be?

Grasp at least a general idea of your ending while you're writing your rough draft so you can aim for a specific conclusion. (If you missed last Thursday's blog post, click here.)

Write an ending "elegantly crafted that does not end with 'and as you can see, "all things work together for the good."'" (Cindy Blomquist, Women of the Harvest)

Keep in mind the definition of a spiritual memoir:

  • Writing a memoir involves pondering, unraveling, examining, reflecting.
  • Looking back, what did you learn from your experience?
  • What did you learn about yourself?
  • After connecting the dots, what patterns (repetitions) did you discover in your thinking, relationships, and faith that you hadn't noticed before?
  • What new person did you become? 
  • As you see it now, what did you learn about God?
  • In retrospect, what do you now see that God was doing?
  • What deeper lessons did God have for you in the experience(s)?
  • Do you now have a better understanding of God's purpose for your life?
  • How was your faith strengthened for the future?
  • Include Bible verses that illustrate and validate your experience/life.
Sum up principles you've learned.

Keep in mind that
transforming truths,
spiritual truths,
underlying truths,
relevant truths.

Your readers long to discover them
in your life's stories
so they can apply them to their own lives.

Your goal is to write a compelling, satisfying end that gives readers hope, courage, faith, tenacity, and inspiration for living.

In your ending, tell your readers:

  • This is how far I came,
  • this is how I got there,
  • this is how I overcame obstacles.
  • I am now a new person.
  • This is the most important lesson I want to leave with you.
Phrases you might include:

  • I didn't recognize it at the time, but...
  • Though I didn't understand it forty years ago, now I see that...
  • Neither I nor they understood why it was happening, but... 
  • It occurs to me now that...
  • It took me many years to realize that...
  • Over the years I've come to accept...
  • Years later I discovered....

How do you want readers to feel when they finish reading your memoir?

How do you want them to think as a result of reading your memoir?

What do you want them to do, how do you want them to live, because they read your memoir?

Write your memoir not because you're so great,

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