Memoir Basics 4: Writing an eye-catching opener

Wrapping it up


This checkpoint piece can appear in Peer Review and Wrotevote, and be graded by a moderator.

Let’s create a checkpoint piece. You can use the dramatic train of thought opener you’ve just created as a starting point (we’ve pasted it below) or you can write something completely new. (Your teacher may have a preference.)

Your passage needs to:

  • Start with a dramatic event.
  • Zoom back a little (e.g. the time it happened and what that means).
  • Zoom back a little more (e.g. a person related what you’ve talked about).
  • Zoom back even more (e.g. a big problem you see about life or a situation, or even people in general).

I was nine years old when my mother threw me out of a moving car.

It happened on a Sunday. I know it was on a Sunday because we were coming home from church, and every Sunday in my childhood meant church. We never missed church. My mother was—and still is—a deeply religious woman. Very Christian. Like indigenous peoples around the world, black South Africans adopted the religion of our colonizers. By “adopt” I mean it was forced on us.

It's Trevor Noah: Born a Crime: (YA edition)Trevor NoahSource
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