Step 1: Write a detailed description of a real memory. Convince your reader that it really happened.
Step 2: Write a detailed description of a constructed memory, something that never happened to you. Convince your reader that it really happened.
Step 3: Read your two memories, true and constructed, to a friend. When reading, try not to give away which of the two memories really happened.
Step 4: Ask your friend to identify which of the memories was true or constructed. Before revealing the truth, ask your friend to explain his or her reasoning.
Step 5: With the help of your reader, identify which of your two memories was most compelling? Why?
Step 6: Is there such thing as a “true memory?”
Step 7: What makes a memory stick in the reader’s mind? Drawing from this exercise, use what you’ve learned to draft a compelling memoir.