· The voice is first person singular: I, not we, one, or you.
· The memoirist is the main character, the someone for readers to be within the story.
· The writer's thoughts and feelings, reactions and reflections, are revealed.
· There's enough context - background information - to understand the events of the story. The context is woven into the story.
· A reader can envision the action - can see what is happening.
· A reader can imagine the setting - where and when the memoir is unfolding.
· A reader can imagine the relationships between the characters.
· The dialogue sounds like these people talking, both what they would say and how they would say it: Boy, you're going to be sorry versus You will be sorry.
· The place is slowed down so a reader can enter the story and live it, moment to moment, with the characters.
· There isn't unnecessary information: the writer leaves out what a reader doesn't need to know.
· The lead invites a reader into the world of the memory.
· The conclusion is deliberate: it represents a writer's decision about hoe to leave his or her readers.
· The writer isn't acting as a reporter: the writing is subjective, the writer's truth.
· The writer invents details that fit with the specific memory and the writer's theme or purpose.
· The memoir sounds and feels like literature and not reportage.
· The reader learns something about life by reading about a life.