Descriptive Narrative Memoir

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For your first formal writing assignment in this course, you will be writing a memoir, a story taken from your life. You will need to choose a moment in your life that is important and memorable to you, and replicate that moment for readers in words using narrative elements such as character, dialogue, descriptive language, setting, and effective narrative ordering. A memoir, though, is more than just a simple reporting of events; a well-written memoir builds to a greater theme, as it reveals an important aspect of personal and human experience that makes it stand out as a significant moment in your life and helps readers understand an important aspect of your existence. A good example of this can be found in Haruki Murakami’s story “On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning”, in which the narrator, in explaining to a friend what he wished he had said to a woman he passed on the street, reveals the pain that comes with a life of hesitation, second-guessing and missed opportunities. It’s important to note that a memoir need not focus on a massive event or moment in a person’s life (a tragedy, a major milestone accomplished, etc.) but should focus instead on a meaningful one; sometimes the smallest moments of our lives produce the largest realizations. Regardless of what moment in your life you decide to narrate, it should be focused to a single event or period of time (no timelines of your life), it should use narrative elements effectively, and it should have a theme that the reader can either pick out of the story or is stated outright.
Descriptive Narrative Memoir

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