Since I pledged to create more often and document it for my #CreativityForDays feature, I had this idea to do a visual outline of my memoir. So I broke out the colored pencils and started #creating. The end result was something that I am pretty proud of. I’m not going to share my detailed visual outline (because I haven’t really been sharing things quite that specific in relation to my memoir). However, I came up with a generic version that could help those who are also writing memoirs that I will share in this post. All this creativity actually got me writing (which is the point of #CreativityForDays) so I do have an updated word count of my memoir to share too.
I had the idea a while ago to do a visual outline to help me map out where I am and want to go with my memoir. After looking online to see if anyone had done something similar I wasn’t really finding what I wanted but I did come across mind maps and that gave me an idea to develop one for writing a memoir.
Memoir Mind Map
I recalled making “mind maps” in both college and in business settings and so when I thought of a visual outline of my memoir I decided a mind map would be a concise way to do it. What is a mind map, you ask? It’s a graphic way of outlining something. I used this site and its definition of a mind map to jog my memory of how to do a mind map. I also looked at this site.
Once I had the mechanics of mind mapping down again, I created my specific version for my memoir. I actually used an outline I had created at the beginning of Camp NaNoWriMo in July (when I pushed myself to write a large chunk [37,000+ words] of my memoir) to create my mind map. I then used that to create my more general “Writing a Memoir Mind Map.”
Here is my hand drawn more general mind map and one I did on the computer.
Obviously a good memoir is personal. And this structure I came up with is a loose idea that can be played with and fleshed out.
However, I was really proud of coming up with something like this and how easily I developed it. I didn’t have multiple drafts of the hand drawn version (which I did first). Obviously I have been living with my memoir floating in my head for a long time. And it certainly speaks to how I’m different after my Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Post-TBI structure and order make more sense so it’s only natural that a brain injury helps me mind map. 😉
Mind Map Structure
I very easily came up with this structure. I looked at this site for the design structure of my mind map and obviously added branches to it when I felt it was necessary.
As I read more and more memoirs starting off with a formal introduction to the writer and the topic of the memoir isn’t a given. It’s just how my story flowed. I think because there is a delineation between pre-TBI Laura and post-TBI Laura in personality and behavior I didn’t completely want to abandon pre-TBI Laura just because I’m writing as post-TBI Laura (I feel like Bob Dole always referring to myself in the third person… so I will stop).
Core Issues #1 and #2
For me a bulk of the beginning of the memoir is obviously about my Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and other complications from the TBI like hearing. Those make up my core issues and anyone writing a memoir will certainly have core issues they are writing about. I’m not saying that the core issues can only live in this section of the book, they will certainly exist in other parts or all throughout it.
This was an area where I addressed pre-TBI Laura and gave her a voice (sorry… 3rd person is back). I also addressed the changes between the two Lauras.
These connect to the core issues. Don’t you love my little comic book POW! 💥 graphic here? I swear sometimes in this recovering from my TBI I feel very POW! and KABOOM! 💥
I’m not really suggesting that all conflicts are resolved within the pages of the memoir because honestly a memoir usually talks a lot about conflicts.
Honestly a summary and looking to the future is a pretty clean way to wrap things up. I’m still writing but I can guarantee it will wrap up like that.
Memoir Writing Update
I wrote a bit more but I jotted down a lot of ideas that came about with the memory mapping. I’m not sure how much more I have to write but I definitely have more story to tell.