How To Write A Great Story – A Case Study on Ann Brashares’ My Name Is Memory


I picked up Ann Brashares’ ‘My Name is Memory’ from the library completely by accident. I had walked past the shelves on my way out to check out the stack of five books I have selected for the week and this was what caught my eye – the title. Above the large print of the title was the phrase, “Sometimes love lasts more than a lifetime. ” So, she has done two things well quickly:

1. She selected a title that invited curiosity and interest.
2. Her byline instantly appealed to her target audience-people who read love stories. And that includes me.
I picked up the book, turned to the back cover, skimmed through it, and in less than 30 seconds-put it on the top of my To-Borrow stack. Until now, she has done well about the marketing aspect of her book-an inviting title, an appealing byline, and a well-written synopsis on the back cover. Already, My spouse and I couldn’t wait to get the property and get tucked into it.

324 pages later, what can My answer is that the book is not going to disappoint. It held us captive for an afternoon in stretched into the night, disturbed only by my requirement for sleep before continuing on the next morning. A page-turner, Ann Brashares masterfully crafted a story that makes putting the book down almost impossible.

My Name Is Memory is a story about a man-Daniel-who has the gift of remembering all the details of his many lives. He has lived for 1, 500 years, born into all kinds of families, across different civilizations-from North Africa to the United States. And in all the many lives he had lived, he only ever loved one woman-Lucy. In every life that he reincarnated into, all he ever wanted was to find Lucy. Their very own paths crossed many times nevertheless each is not without a unique twisted ending.

What Ann has done well in this reserve is her use of distinct narrative points of view. During my Name Is Memory, this lady uses two different story points of view:

1. Coming from a first person’s point of view while Daniel.

2. From various third-person points of view, investigating Daniel and Lucy individually along with together.

The book starts with Daniel speaking in the first person (I, myself, me) about his gift involving memory. Although short (a page and a half), the idea sets out the context of the rest of the book and gives us all a peek into Daniel’s psyche-his history, his views, and his emotions.

In the reserve, two stories unfold in parallel with each other the first is Daniel’s a lot of lives across the period of one particular, 500 years; and the subsequent is the story of Nora and Daniel over the time of six years (from 2004 to 2010). Ann has kept these two stories unfolding side-by-side clearly and cleanly by the appropriate use of structure.

She alternates between the two stories and the two different narrative points of view on a chapter-by-chapter basis. By clearly spelling out the time and place where the story takes shape, there is no confusion about which story is being told, and by whom.

Another great technique Ann has used is that she varies the need for details between the two stories. In the story of Daniel over 1, 500 years, she keeps the details as sparse as possible so as not to detract from the essence of the story, but still enough to paint a picture of the condition and the civilization in which he lived without frustrating the readers.

In the second story-the, the modern-day Daniel and Lucy-there are more details about the place (location, furniture, climate, etc) and the characters (how they can be dressed, their actions, views, and feelings).

This also best parts the fact that authors need not overcome readers with unnecessary information on a life that they are not able to relate to in this case, Daniel’s other lives from regarding 500 A. D. onwards. Because those lives are up to now removed from present-day reality, generally there need not be intricate information in the writing to shift the story forward. Another reason why there is no need for too much fine detail in the first story is a result of the fact that it is narrated from the first person’s point of view.

The very first story is essentially being told like a reflection or reminiscence from the past, and as far as our memories go, it is hard-pressed to find someone who can remember every detail of his or her life vividly. The second story-being informed from a third person’s stage of view-is akin to a movie director setting out the moments of the story, using the information to enhance the storytelling to ensure that we are captivated and held engaged as the story shows up.

Although the theme of the story is usually predominantly about love, Ann also brings into gentle the concept of reincarnation, the idea that people are reborn into distinct bodies over a span involving several lifetimes. At standard intervals, questions about reincarnation appear, which demand a conclusion either from Daniel or maybe from his friend Billy, who-like him-also has the reward of memory. There is also an aspect where Lucy elicits assistance from a hypnotist to perform prior life regression on her. The audience is involuntarily exposed to this sort of concept through the story, and that is informative.

Typically the finer point of the reserve is the undertone of Daniel’s story, which has a life tutorial of its own. Because of the memory of his various lives, Daniel carries using him a sense of detachment regarding the present. He keeps the same name all through his various lifetimes, insisting that their parents call him the name Daniel in all of his incarnations. Nothing is brand new, and life holds hardly any wonder for him.

This individual holds his family at a distance, knowing that regardless of how good or even bad the situation is when he comes back in the next life, points would be different. His just salvation is his life for Lucy. Towards the finish of the book, he involves the realization that what matters most is in the present, and the existing is the only moment they have. This point is easy to overlook but if picked up from the story-can is extremely powerful like a life lesson to visitors.

The only area where the guide is slightly lacking is within its ending. The story is left to conclude somewhat open-endedly, which to me is a bit of a letdown. As a whole, My Name Is Memory is often a book that is beautifully prepared, very engaging, and works on the combination of very advanced producing techniques. The use of varying plot points of view and facts is perhaps the highlight that generates Ann Brashares’ story revealing and so engaging.

Chiao Kee is a three-time Award Winning Article author and an avid blogger. The woman won her first give at the age of 16 with a ready short story – A whole new Day and subsequently began to win two considerably more awards with her short experiences, all before the age of per day.