The Best Memoir

by Boni Wagner Stafford

How to Write it when you don't know how.

"From finding your purpose to structuring your experiences, this book will help you share the story that only you can tell."

ANNE JANZER - Get the Word Out: Write a Book That Makes a Difference

About The Best Memoir

To write the best memoir, you need a foundation of publishing, business, and legal information. You need help honing your craft: narrative plot structure, outlining, POV, scene setting, dialogue, active voice, show-don’t-tell, character and story arc, and more.

But more importantly, you need deep self-awareness and the courage to be honest about your less-than-perfect self: the real you. That is how your readers will believe, enjoy, and recommend your story: not when you cover up the living room furniture of your soul in sticky plastic and ask them to take off their shoes.

You’ll learn about your own bonding patterns, to recognise the role your upbringing plays in today’s relationships, how to keep the relationship safe, and establish boundaries. You’ll also learn about types of affairs, how to recognise when you or your relationship is at risk from infidelity, and how to work through the aftermath of an affair.

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"Boni Wagner-Stafford’s simple, succinct manual will get you thinking and moving in your writing. The Best Memoir will help you see your work more objectively—anticipating the feedback of any good editor—and steer you away from the bigger mistakes that can set you back in your process, so you can reach your big, final goal of a completed, publishable manuscript.

"A great resource for anyone who wants to write their memoir."

DAVID R. MORRIS - Hyponymous Consulting and Lake Drive Books

Table of Contents

I. Foundations First


What's your Why?


What's Holding You Back?


What is Memoir?


Your Reader and Why They Buy




Copyright and Permission to Quote


Choose Your Style Guide

II. Ready Set Plan


Narrative Plot Structure


Draft Your Outline


Perspectives and Truth


Self-Awareness, Pain, Vulnerability


Libel, Slander, and Defamation

III. Memoir Writer's Craft


POV: Point of View


Set the Scene


Show Don't Tell


Memoir Dialogue...from Memory


Active vs. Passive Voice


When to Choose Passive Voice


What's Your English?


Plain Language


Perfectionism Run Amok

IV. Writing Process


Your Writing Approach


Writing Pace and Motivation


Your Author Coach


Re: Vision, Revision

From The Best Memoir's Introduction:

Memoir is about truth. Our personal truth. Not capital T truth, because perception of past events is always filtered through the stained glass windows of our coping mechanisms.

Writing our truth requires bucketloads of courage. Because we must face our fallibility, our flaws, our defects, our culpability. In fact we must do so much more than face these things: we must put them on display for the world to see, like leaping stark naked onto a nudist beach after a lifetime of shame around body image.

The very act (or series of painful, daily acts) of writing requires us to have the courage to stare down the facts of our past, to make sense of them, and to show the reader that we’ve come through it all somehow better, wiser, more resilient—rarely do we aim to leave the reader feeling hopeless because we authors come out the other side of our memoir-writing exercise beaten and bloodied.

Writing memoir is not for the faint of heart.

"A great resource for anyone who wants to write their memoir."

C.A. GIBBS - The Picture Wall: One Woman's Story of Being His Her Their Mother

Boni Wagner-Stafford is a publisher, author coach, podcast host, cofounder of Ingenium Books, and an award-winning former journalist.

Haven't got the book yet? It's EASY.

Get your copy of The Best Memoir today. 

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