Book Review: Write Your Life Story, The Complete Guide to Creating a Personal Memoir

Are you getting set to write a family history or memoir? If you want a catch all guide to writing in this genre Karen Ulrich’s book, written for Reader’s Digest, is a great choice.

How to write your life story-cover-final 001Write Your Life Story covers every aspect of the subject, from generating ideas and organizing information to writing craft tips, beating writer’s block, and publication options. Ulrich presents each topic in short form, honing her thoughts to the crucial elements. And for those who want more, Ulrich cites and sometimes quotes rich sources “from the masters.”

Ulrich gives particular attention to the unique features of writing in this genre, with discussion—for instance—of ways memoirists and family writers strive to gain perspective and objectivity.

“One of the tricky things about writing a memoir,” says Ulrich, “is the difference between protagonist and narrator, who are often the same person: you. Keep in mind that your protagonist is aware only of his or her present situation and past, while the narrator is all-knowing.”

Writers in other nonfiction genres will also find this book inspiring, and especially so if you’re new to writing. It focusses on the essentials in clean, clear, succinct prose, in a beautifully illustrated format. It’s easy to use, with its glowing, bite size appetizers, designed to set you up for a glorious meal.