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Difference Between Autobiography And Memoir

writing auto biographyAutobiography vs Memoir

An autobiography is a narrative about the life of the person who wrote it. It often starts at birth or early childhood, though some authors of autobiographies may give details about their parents or their family line, if those details are important to their current lives. The narrative is chronological and it goes through the entire life up to the point of writing.

Because autobiographies are similar to biographies, they tend to be very fact and detail oriented. Biographies often have to talk more about the facts and the details, as someone who doesn’t personally know the subject of the biography or know about things other than the facts would have to use what they can. For example, if the subject of the biography was good friends with another person, then it would be difficult to talk about the exact relationship they had. In some cases, it is better to add details about the friend’s life and leave the exact emotions up to the reader than to mischaracterize the friend or subject.

That carries over into autobiographies, even though there’s not much reason to do it. When someone writes about their own life, they know exactly what was going on. However, the format has been laid out by biographies, and autobiographies need to follow that format.

A memoir, on the other hand, is not a narrative. It is a collection of memories from the person who wrote it. It does not have to go in chronological order. If one memory from the age of five would have more impact if told after a memory from the age of twenty, then there’s no reason not to write them in that order. It also doesn’t have to talk about any details as long as it captures the emotion, experience, or events that the author wants to focus on.

Memoirs don’t need to necessarily be about the author’s life, either. While they will be from the author’s point of view, they could focus on a person in their life. For example, a memoir could be about the author’s memories of a close family member or how a community was affected by certain events.

The autobiographies that sell best tend to be written by celebrities or people who have become famous for other reasons, since people are more likely to read a fact-based account about someone they know or care about. A memoir, on the other hand, can become a best-seller no matter who writes it, because the point of a memoir is to capture something very personal and show it to the world. The memoir, free from dry details and facts, is more likely to capture the interest of an audience if it is written well enough.

There’s a reason that the terms ‘autobiography’ and ‘memoir’ are interchangeable: not all self-written accounts fall into one or the other. If a self-written account jumps around in order, but has the detail of an autobiography, then it can be difficult to figure out which one it belongs to. That story might be described as either. The confusion of those accounts in between the two has bled over to the ones that do fit in one category, since hearing one account described as both can lead to someone thinking that either term can be used.

To summarize, the autobiography is a fact-based account of the author’s life that follows a narrative. The memoir is more focused on capturing memories and emotions than facts, and it can jump around as it pleases. While they are separate categories, native English speakers may think that they mean the same thing because there is some overlap between the two.


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