What is a Memoir?

A nonfiction record written using the author’s personal experiences. A memoir is a biographical account, however, it focuses on a specific event or period in the author’s life. Thus, a more narrow perspective than other nonfiction works in this category.

The key differentiation between a memoir and an autobiography is the telling of events as the author recalls them. While still regarded as fact, a memoir has more flexibility. The author’s thoughts and feelings are just as important to the story as the events themselves.

A memoir is structured similar to that of a novel. A memoirs breadth can be as broad as an entire period, or as narrow as a specific encounter, there is no length requirement. However, it utilizes the techniques of novel storytelling to further enforce the narrative. Character development, point of view, style, and setting are all important qualities.