Writing About Significant People Print


Writing About Significant People

Besides yourself, choose three people central to your memoir.

One is well-known to you; another is a mystery; the third has a bit of both.

Choose one. Think of a particular time when you knew this person, especially if you’ve known him or her a long time. The more specific the better.


Appearance description: Begin at the top of the head and describe him/her.

Add details as you go. Hairstyle, clothing, jewelry, skin tone, eyes, hands.

Action-based description: Put the person in motion.

List typical or habitual actions the person does.

Is there some peculiar way he or she acts? List a few of these.


Recall particular lines he or she invariably said.

Recall the most significant thing he/she ever said to you.

Think of a quick dialogue between you two: three back-and-forth lines.


Anecdotes (characterization via action):

List three of the most important short events that happened between you two.

Write up one of these events and incorporate elements of the exercise above.


What’s the emotional center of your relationship?

What would you like to discover about you and this person via writing about this relationship?