Blueprint for Memoir or Fiction (and even some Poetry)

  1. What was the status quo?
  2. What happened to change, or destroy that?
  3. How did your main character (you, in a memoir) attempt to resolve it?
  4. How did his or her trials turn out?
  5. What do you hope the reader will walk away with?

In a book-length work, the same blueprint should also be the backbone of each chapter, which begins with a new status quo, a new problem for the character (you in a memoir) to get through, and a new ending—a cliffhanger to take the reader to the next chapter.

Even some poetry can fit into this blueprint.

Don’t see it as a template or outline, because it’s not.  But if you can’t answer the above questions, either before or after you’ve written the piece, something’s missing.  (Unless it’s “stream of consciousness”, which is just journal writing and not what I’m addressing here).

Beginning, middle, and end.  It’s the first lesson in the most basic writing class.  Even the story of how your day went today would be told as beginning, middle, and how it all ended. Hopefully, with your having gifted the world with one of your stories!

Author: Valerie Serrano

I'm a writing teacher, writer, editor, self-publishing coach -- a one-woman operation called Let’s Write! I love children, and pray they are spared the worst of what's going on in this world today. "Truth" is my middle name (though it can get me into trouble!) And I always pray to be nothing but truthful in whatever I write, even if it's fiction. I can be a perfectionist when it comes to writing, editing, and book designing; and I enjoy taking the time to be conscientious about getting things just right, while still staying relaxed enough to remember we humans all make mistakes (the best way I learn, it seems!). Praise God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the only real Truth), and may He bless you and your family. Thanks for visiting my site! Valerie Serrano

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