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Saturday, November 21, 2009

 

List of Universal Themes in Memoir Writing

What do universal themes have to do with memoir writing? If you are serious about writing a memoir, you need to not only tell your story, but have a story that others can relate to as well.

In Annette Fix' article on WOW, Memoir Writing: Drawing From Your Life to Create Your Story, she says, "You need to decide who your target audience is and what message you want to leave them with when they reach the end of the book. If you find that you have no 'point' to your story, it may be best to consider binding some copies for family members as a legacy or as an addition to your family's genealogy collection. If your intent is to see your memoir in the trade marketplace, you need to have a universal theme to which your readers can relate."

Here is a list of universal themes you can incorporate in your memoir: (in alphabetical order)

Abandonment
Abuse
Accepting Change
Adjusting to a New Life
Adoption
Anger
Appearances
Appreciation of Nature
Being Gifted
Brotherhood
Bullies
Belonging
Betrayal
Bondage
Bravery
Caring for the Environment
Censorship
Challenges
Change
Coming of Age
Commitment
Communication
Community
Cooperation
Coping with Loss
Courage and Honor
Cultural Diversity
Customs and Traditions
Dealing with Handicaps
Death and Dying
Denial
Determination
Discrimination
Faith
Diversity
Dreams
Effects of War
Ethical Dilemmas
Euthanasia
Family
Fear
Forgiveness
Freedom
Friendship
Gender Issues
Good vs. Evil
Gratitude
Grief
Growing Up
Guilt
Heroes
Heroism
History
Honesty
Hope
Humor
Immigrants
Initiation
Innocence
Intergenerational Relationships
Invincibility
Jealousy
Leadership
Living in Today's Society
Loneliness
Love
Loyalty
Making Choices
Media
Morals & Values
Patriotism
Peace
Peer Pressure
Poverty
Relationships
Self-esteem
Sense of Community
Sense of Self
Separation and Loss
Social Change
Survival
Taking a Stand
Teamwork
Trust
Violence

By incorporating one or more of these themes into your memoir you'll gain a universal connection to your reader. And that's the power of personal memoir.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Michelle H. said...

Great list! I'm incorporating many of these items into my memoir, including a cautionary tale.

7:31 AM  
Blogger Angela said...

Wonderful, Michelle!

I posted the list because I saw that we had a lot of searches to the WOW site and The Muffin looking for universal themes in memoir writing. It can be hard to find articles on our site sometimes, so I wanted this to be easily accessible. It appears a lot of people are working on their memoirs right now. I hope yours is going well. :)

1:37 PM  
Blogger petersteel said...

that was really nice to read that list that was really great... nice job.. for more information regarding..Pittsburgh memoir writing, Pittsburgh storytelling, Pittsburgh corporate communication u can visit http://www.jayspeyerer.com/

8:52 PM  

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