If your memoir were a movie how would it open?
Here are some particularly dramatic examples from a couple of our talented authors:
“The moment my husband Mike took my hand, kissed it, and said, “Laura, you know we have had a great life,” is the moment I really started to panic.”
From No Fear Allowed: A Story of Guts, Perseverance & Making an Impact
By Laura Herring
“The woman sitting in a chair at the patient’s bedside burst into uncontrollable tears. She was inconsolable.”
From Shift the Narrative: A Blind Man’s Vision for Rewriting the Stories that Limit Us
By Russell Redenbaugh
The first scene of a movie sets the tone for the rest and in some cases determines whether the rest is even worth watching. The same is true for the opening scene of a book.
When writing the story of your life, how can you craft a captivating opening scene? Here are 6 tips.
1. Select a dramatic, pivotal scene in your life where:
- Your life changed direction in some way.
- You learned something profound about yourself.
- You gained or lost control of some part of your life.
2. Choose dialogue and actions that reveal something about you as a person.
3. Write the scene as if an actor in a movie will perform it. Craft your scene for the big screen in as much sensory detail as possible.
4. Be descriptive – use emotions, rising and falling tension, and physical scene details (because believe it or not, we can’t see what’s in your head).
5. Take a scene from your life that you might consider small, and write it big. See your life through a different, bigger lens!
6. If possible end the opening scene to your memoir on a cliffhanger, keep your readers in suspense, and end the scene later in the book.
FADE TO BLACK.
PS: Remember, if you’re looking for a place to float ideas and get feedback and support from your fellow writers, check out our private Ink Authors Facebook group!