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What is Hybrid Memoir?

Hybrid Memoir

You’ve decided to write your memoir. You know exactly where you want to start. The first scene has been written in your head for months, years or even decades.

Now it’s time. You sit down and write that first chapter. But where do you go from here? I hope I can help you think in news ways about your writing, your life and what you want to tell people about it, and then what to do with your memoir once it is completed. What lessons have you learned that you want to share with the world? What events were so compelling that other people need to hear about them? And finally, in what format should your memoir be written?

          There is more than one type of memoir, so today I’m going to discuss Hybrid Memoir, a combination of memoir and one or more additional genres, such as how-to, inspiration, historical fiction, or poetry.

Most memoirs, with the exception of a few celebrity books, fall into the hybrid or memoir plus category. A memoir, as opposed to autobiography, has a message, a “lesson learned.” This may be as obvious as how to accomplish something or how to overcome a specific challenge. Or it can be more subtle, as in books that combine memoir and an inspirational message.

Understanding that you are writing a hybrid book will help you to think about exactly what you want to say and how you want to say it.

When most readers search for a book, they don’t usually type in “memoir” as a keyword or look for the “memoir” section in the bookstore. When searching online, that word is too broad, and in most bookstores, there is only a tiny section dedicated to memoir, if there is one at all.

So how will readers find your memoir? They will search for it by subject or theme. You might think I have skipped far ahead from planning your book to marketing your book, but I have not. If you understand right from the start that you are writing a book not just about you, but one that has a specific message that readers are looking for, it will help you to plan and write your book.

Most successful memoirs that are written for a larger audience than just family members are actually hybrid works. Before you begin to write, think about what message you want your audience to take away and remember when they close the last page of your book.

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