Memoir Writing Prompts: Two Fawns, a Buck and a Doe

by Matilda Butler on August 2, 2011

Writing Prompt LogoPost #98 – Women’s Memoirs, Writing Prompt – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler








Memoir Writing Prompt: Suggested by Summer

Memoir, memoir writing prompts, memoir writing, journaling, how to write a memoir, autobiographyTwin fawns spend part of each day just outside our kitchen. Their energy fills the air, making it impossible to not smile at their antics. They race around each other. They gambol across the field. This morning they seemed to challenge each other to jump from our high concrete wall to the lower area, the edge of the McDonald Forest. Joy. Happiness. Innocence.

Memoir, memoir writing prompts, how to write a memoir, memoir writing, journaling, autobiographyBucky (more formally named Buckminster Fuller) is their father. He spends most days resting just outside my partner’s study window. Relaxed and slow are words that describe this majestic animal. We are in awe of his antlers, easy to study because he rarely moves. He often stages his day bed so that he can nibble on a nearby bush without even moving his body. Talk about living the Life of Riley.

Noticing the difference in these animals brought me to today’s memoir writing prompt.

Memoir Writing Prompt: It’s All About Pacing

1. Write one paragraph that is fast moving and suggests breathlessness. Share excitement and energy with the reader of the paragraph. How will you do that? There are many techniques but a short paragraph, short sentences and short words are approaches that belong in your toolkit.

2. Write one paragraph that is relaxed and embodies the lazy days of summer. How do you get your reader to slow down with you, to breathe more easily, to notice the details of life, to sense calmness? Again, there are many ways to do this, but consider the effect of a long paragraph, long sentences and longer words. The reader has to slow take and that helps to create this sense of a relaxed time. In other words, create a slow as molasses paragraph.

3. Read your two paragraphs. What else did you do to change the pacing of the little story you told in each of these?

And the Doe?

Memoir, memoir writing prompts, how to write a memoir, memoir writing, journaling, autobiographyOf yes, I promised in the title of this memoir writing prompt that I’d also mention a doe. Here’s Jane. Being the mother of twins is exhausting. She occasionally stops by to take a nap.

But the biggest treat for me happened this afternoon. I saw one of the twins stopped and looking back. I couldn’t figure out why and I couldn’t see the other twin or the doe. Where were they? Then I heard a strange sound. I got up from my desk and went to the open window. I saw the fawn nursing and making loud noises. Even the doe made sounds. To understand my surprise and fascination, you have to know that I lived with deer constantly on our property for 13 years in California. I watched them everyday, unless there was a mountain lion on the land. The deer were smart enough to stay away during those times. I never saw a nursing fawn and I never heard a deer make a sound — not matter the circumstance.

Today was special for me.

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