1. theysayshannon
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    theysayshannon New Member

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    How do you end a memoir?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by theysayshannon, Sep 6, 2010.

    So I'm writing a memoir, and it's specifically about a relationship of mine. The relationship is still going on, so there is no ending to it.
    How do I end the memoir, though?

    Thank you!
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Don't make it too cheesy and "happily ever after." Describe a scene that tells the readers you'll be together happily ever after. Try to add some impact, but don't be excessively overdramatic, and don't write it in a "in conclusion" way.

    If you want to PM me what you have, I can give you some feedback and help you out.
     
  3. Lothgar
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    Lothgar Contributing Member

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    I'd suggest wrapping up your memoir in the present, on the note that you are happy together now.

    I agree about avoiding the "happily ever after" ending, as it lowers the tone of a real life memoir to little more than a fairy tale. Perhaps you'd like to convey that you have bright prospects and plans for the future, but as nothing is ever certain in the future, it would be unwise to assert that everything will be rosy.

    I'd leave predictions of the future to the prophets.
     
  4. theysayshannon
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    theysayshannon New Member

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    Well, the memoir is currently at 52k words and is around 100 pages, so that may be a little too long to PM. Haha.
    I completely agree with the whole, "don't end it on too happily ever after" but it's just one of those things that I'm not sure exactly where to end it.

    (I'll throw in a few details of what has gone in the memoir to give you an idea.)
    -when we first met
    -how/why we were "rocky" at the beginning (we broke up/got together a few times.)
    -when things started picking up.
    -major events like meeting each others' families
    -when we said we were in love with each other
    (That's as far as I am now. I also plan to include)
    -When he got rheumatoid arthritis and how that impacted the relationship. (Took us from this great point, down to an awful one.)
    -How we fixed that.
    -And basically, that leaves us with where we're at today.

    I don't want to end it on the end of the arthritis, just because it has been a few months since we took that under control, and there's a couple events I want to add in after that, but for the most part, those are the big turning points.
    How exactly do you wrap a memoir up? What kind of story ending would I have?
     
  5. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Take it to the present day, or at least, to some significant event in the recent past. Then include a last chapter, a short one, reflecting on what you've learned through the ups and downs of this relationship, and end with a statement to the effect that this is still an ongoing process and only time will tell how this story will end.
     
  6. GrimStories
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    GrimStories Member

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    A quiet moment when you've grown so close that talking isn't necessary and a smile is shared.
     
  7. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Or a confused note about how things have changed while you've been busy with the memoir, sending it into a spiralling loop of a book that can never end. :p

    Sweet little memoir for 70 odd pages, then 300 pages of confusing postmodern rambling... Excellent. :D

    *cough*

    Anyway. Probably best just to think of a scene that happened recently to you that really sums up how you've changed and grown into each other - something special like being out somewhere, or a rainy evening in when you really take the time to be alone together and just have one of those moments, and write that, maybe even after most of the concluding stuff previously mentioned, so you end it on a sort of piece of... not, action, but a thing that's happened rather than thoughts.
     
  8. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    With your shared aspirations for the future.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    a 'memoir' is by definition, a recalling of a specific period in one's life, not an 'autobiography' which encompasses the whole enchilada up to when the book is written...

    therefore, the ending is self-defined... it's whenever that particular period of your life ended and you went on to other things... or, when that specific aspect of the relationship changed/ended...

    but first of all, 52k is not a book... it's way too short even for a memoir, which can be acceptable at the lowest end of the 80-100k most publishers want and maybe even ok at 70-75, if it's brilliantly written...
     
  10. Karl C. Lewis
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    Karl C. Lewis Member

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    How many memoirs have you read like the one you are writing? Or perhaps just in general?
     
  11. theysayshannon
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    theysayshannon New Member

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    I'm not finished... I mentioned lower in the post that I still have plans to continue it, that's just where I'm at right now and I want the rest of what I'm writing to help shape into the ending... I'm only half way through what I want to tell. I'm aware that it's not as long as it could be, thanks - also, I'm not planning on getting it published, it's for personal use only, I was just seeking some advice on the ending.

    Also, the relationship hasn't 'ended' so that's not my ending. I know that that could be an ending, if it existed, so the ending I'm looking for is not "a made up" one, I'm more so asking what sort of tone should I end it on, or how should I wrap it up since the story in itself is still being created.


    In terms of how many memoirs I've read like this... none. Memoirs in general, a few but not too many.

    Thanks for the help that I've been given so far.
     

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