Hi all! My name's Autumn, and I'm a new member, I just haven't gotten around to posting an introduction. If those post gets a little bit long, please accept my beforehand apology! Anywhoo, here's the deal. Before I give you any of the major details, I have to say that the book that I'm particularly interested in writing is a sort of.. memoir. I'm a little addle brained when it comes to explaining this, but here's my try: Yes, I want it to be a memoir, but I want some of the details to be a little bit different. The setting, in Ohio, is already perfect. But I'm afraid that my "characters" ( real people, being referred to as characters for now ) are a little on the nitty gritty side. I'm having a hard time developing ways to soften them, so with that said, I'll give you some background on my life which will make up the memoir, and the characters, which will hopefully result in some suggestions. My Mom gave birth to me when she was seventeen, after getting pregnant on purpose at sixteen. My Father stuck around for a very short time, before getting sent to jail on his first robbery conviction. He's been what one would call a "career criminal" for the entire duration of my life ( I'm now nineteen ), and hasn't been very much apart of it. My Grandparents raised me, more or less. But, I don't want them to be a large part of this book. They were very instrumental in the story, but I want them as more of a backdrop. I had a sister, named Andrea. We lived with my Mom for about seven years together, until Andie passed away. She was younger, and had just turned seven when she died. After the above, I lived permanently with my Grandparents. My Mother disappear off the face of the earth, only reappearing for money or to call and say that she was going to commit suicide, which she tried to do at regular intervals. After a few years, and a few suicide attempts, my Mother came to live with me & my Grandparents. She was very mentally ill ( and has always been, I should have mentioned that before, sorry!), and slept 24/7. My Father got out of jail for a little while, and during the time he was out my Mom and him sold cocaine. Something happened along the way, a man was murdered, and they went to Tennessee and got married. Upon coming back, my Dad was arrested for a parole violation. My Mom moved back in with my Grandparents & me, and we got along for the most part. She stopped selling drugs, but was still dependent on them. Ontop of this, she never got over my sister's death. In June, nine days before my birthday, she left, and was later found dead in a motel three miles from my Grandparents house. After that, my father was arrested for the mans murder. Stood trial, and was given a life sentence in a maximum security prison. A sentence that he's currently trying to appeal. Now, that was all a mouth full, and I know a lot of you might be wondering how I'm going to develop that into a story.... I'm wondering too. But, I'm pretty set on the memoir dynamic being about the relationship between my mother and I, which for the most part was terrible. As you can see, though, the people are very... odd, at best. To sum it all up in a short: my mom was by all definitions legally insane, and a drug addict. My father was a very mean man, and a criminal. I guess you could say my main concern is making them out to be villains, when I want them to be people? Talking to my mother to get more details is obviously not an option, and really isn't one with my Dad either. What do you suggest? In what ways could I make them "softer" people? The only way I can think of, is to put a big emphasis on their love, which would be pretty much a new age romeo and juliet story. Any help would be appreciated!