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Writing Memoir Leads Grab the readers attention with an interesting opening.

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2 Writing Memoir Leads Grab the readers attention with an interesting opening

3 Descriptive Leads Descriptive leads set the scene by painting a picture in the readers mind. The doorman of the Kilmarnock was six foot two. He wore a pale blue uniform, and white gloves made his hands look enormous. He opened the door of the yellow taxi as gently as an old maid stroking a cat. Raymond Chandler What I cant know about Africa as a child (because I have no memory of any other place) is her smell; hot, sweet, smoky, salty, sharp-soft. It is like black tea, cut tobacco, fresh fire, old sweat, young grass. Alexandra Fuller

4 Suspense Leads Suspense leads create curiosity in the readers mind and leave them wondering what will happen next. Suddenly everything stops. Alison James Every so often that dead dog dreams me up again. Stephanie Vaughn I have a confession to make: I threw the Trivia Bowl. The year was 1988. The place, eleventh grade. Robert Siegel

5 Dialogue Leads Dialogue leads immediately draw the reader into the story as they literally enter into your narrative in mid-conversation. You must not tell anyone, my mother said, what I am about to tell you. Maxine Hong Kingston BEBE! Comehererightquick. When Daddy wanted me right quick it meant he needed my help. I liked helping my father. Bebe Campbell

6 Question Leads Question leads immediately draw the reader into the memoir, inviting the reader to ponder the events that lie ahead. Why on earth had she shown up after ten long years, and what was that expression of fury on her face? If I had a crystal ball to predict my day ahead, would I have done anything differently?

7 Leads that introduce the narrator Narrator leads introduce the reader to the narrator, acquainting the reader with the main character in the memoir. The name my family calls me is Morning Girl, because I wake up early always with something on my mind. Michael Dorris We were terrible kids, I think. My brother, sister, and I felt a general meanness begin to surface from our tiny souls while living on Braly Street, which was in the middle of Industrial Fresno. Gary Soto

8 Thematic Leads Thematic leads hint to the reader at the life lesson that the memoir will teach. I was six years old when my mother taught me the art of invisible strength. Amy Tan The salmon colored walls were all my eyes could see as I breathed in the disturbing smell of the waiting room: a smell beyond cleanliness, a smell I would soon come to hatethe smell of death. Norma Fox Mazer

9 Avoid the following kinds of leads Famous quotations/sayings Wisely, and slow. They stumble that run fast. Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what youre going to get. Rhetorical, thought-provoking questions Do you have any regrets in life? What would you do differently if you knew no one would judge you?

10 Definitions Websters dictionary defines courage as the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery Avoid the following kinds of leads

11 Your Turn… Go here and complete the This sheet should be turned in with your typed, double-spaced final draft on 10.10.2012

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