1. Eve rock
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    Eve rock New Member

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    Advice Welcomed

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Eve rock, Jan 18, 2015.

    Hi all

    I am starting to plan my memoir and would appreciate some advice.

    My plan is to have a think about what audience would likely read my book? I want to be able to blend my writing style to suit my audience whilst also reflecting my own character.

    So the book will be a reflection and recount of my life so far, which has had a number of experiences that will have tested in the toughest of wills. The loss of a close loved one by suicide, alcoholism, more bereavement etc etc! As much as this sounds like depressing reading it also has wild times with a lot of laughter along the way. Plus a happy ending........... ;)

    Who should I be considering and what tips should I be learning from?

    Please excuse any innocent mistakes as I said it is a new venture and I am on a steep learning curve!!
     
  2. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    I wouldn't try to discourage you from this project, but, for what my opinion is worth, I think most would-be autobiographers vastly over-estimate the interest among the public in their (the writers') lives, unless they are famous in some other way or have some sort of hook ("I died and went to heaven, and here's what it''s like..."). Writing your life story could be useful and productive to you, but I wouldn't worry much about what your audience will expect; I doubt if it will be large enough to matter.
     
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  3. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I mostly agree with stevesh, with the corollary that the one thing that could get public interest into the life of a non-public figure is exceptional writing. I'd say that you aren't trying to sell your story, really, you're trying to sell your writing.

    With that in mind, I think it's probably important that you write in whatever style you think will really make your words shine. What style will allow you to make the story something special, something that stands out from all the OTHER lives touched by suicide, alcoholism, etc.

    Think of Frank McCourt, for example. He wasn't famous (before getting published!) but he won the damn Pulitzer because the WAY he told his story was so compelling. And he told his story in his own style, in a way that was lifted from the milieu he was writing about.
     
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  4. Eve rock
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    Eve rock New Member

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    Thanks to you both! Comments taken on board. It is mainly for me but I still want to see how it is viewed by others. If anything the end goal is to inspire others who may be having a tough time.
     
  5. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    If you have an engaging style and can hook a reader, I think you can carry am autobiography. There are plenty of examples of autobiographical books by non-famous people that do well. I wouldn't let that discourage you.
     
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  6. Eve rock
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    Eve rock New Member

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    Thankyou Steerpike, I'm really enjoying the process so I won't get discouraged! I've read some fantastic ones myself so am pretty inspired.
     
  7. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    A piece of advice I give to most would-be memoirists: Consider whether you might be better served writing a novel, albeit one heavily influenced by your experiences. This gives you some flexibility and leeway to change the timing of events, add or combine characters (i.e. people/friends/authorities/victims, etc), disguise the identity of people involved, and avoid a criticism that your recollection of some event is inaccurate.
     
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  8. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    I like this advice a lot.

    I'd also agree with the others - what needs to shine is your writing and the way you tell the story. If your story has universal themes, it'll be popular even if you're not "famous."
     
  9. Carly Berg
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    Carly Berg Contributing Member

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    You might get some good ideas of what to do and what not to do by reading a few other memoirs. Or, just get it all down in the first draft, then worry about the rest. Good luck.
     

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