Memoir Planning Based on Fast-Draft Book

In a previous post I shared some takeaways from Fast-draft Your Memoir. The author, Rachael Herron, shared her workshop process to quickly write a memoir.

Herron’s primary process starts with identifying six pivotal moments, expanding on these briefly, and then developing one concept into a full book-length memoir. Each heading below is a step of Herron’s process, and my notes for each step are listed.

6 Pivotal Moments

  • Changing majors in college
  • Mom’s death when I was 25
  • Marrying [first wife]
  • Camping trip (keyboard)
  • Marrying [second wife]
  • Experiences from performing in a band

6-word Memoirs

  • Life and love through my fingers (piano experiences)
  • From starter wife to happy life
  • Every experience is a learning opportunity

Elevator Pitch

Life many young teens, I started losing interest in piano lessons, but a chance encounter put me on a different path. My adult life is still impacted by that encounter.

10 “Big Things”

  • Batman (1st lessons)
  • Transitions
  • Keyboard evolution
  • High school music(al)
  • Friends
  • When the music stopped
  • The return of music
  • 4 weddings and a funeral
  • Meeting [second wife]
  • Passing on the Vision

2-3 “Smaller Things”

I’m only including the “smaller things,” which are scenes, for a couple of “big things.”

  • Batman (1st lessons)
    • Mom’s piano
    • Batman story
    • Lessons with Karla
  • Friends
    • [college girlfriend] – critical connection – tie into changing major?
    • Music group
    • Other college music

It is likely that these notes don’t mean much to you, but I hope you can see the evolution from brainstorming ideas to developing an outline from which writing can begin.

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