Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

Pace is Important in Chronicling your Life Story

Finally we reach the last of author Kurt Vonnegut’s eight rules for writing a short story. It’s not a pretty finish in terms of how neatly his rules jibe with writing memoirs. Perhaps you’ll agree with me that Rule 8 is not a good fit:

Rule 8: Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

Vonnegut must be amused by his own irreverence. I don’t see an advantage to writing even a work of fiction with the possibility in mind that the reader may not finish the book. “To hell with suspense???? Many fans of the mystery novel would disagree! In our situation here, we’re writing a true story about our real life. I think we must unfold the events with some order and not focus on cramming the early chapters with all of the important information. Vonnegut has a point that a reader who fails to finish a work of fiction can concoct an ending that may be just as satisfying as the ending the author crafted. But this is one rule that does not apply to your memoir, which is nonfiction and, therefore, by definition leads to only one conclusion: the actual one. I’ve had fun reviewing Vonnegut’s eight rules and hope you did, too.

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Then just set up a chapter and start writing your memoir. Don’t worry about rules. There are no rules to writing your memoir; there are only trends. These trends are based on techniques and features identified in current top-selling memoirs. At best, they’re the flavor of the month. If you’re capturing your life in print for your family, for your own gratification or to inspire readers, rather than aiming to set off Hollywood screenplay bidding wars, these trends don’t even apply to you. You’ll write the memoir that suits you best, and it will be timeless, not trend-driven.There are no rules, but there are four steps:

1. Theme/framework
2. Writing
3. Editing/polishing
4. Self-publishing

You’ve researched this, too, and you’ve been shocked at the price for getting help with any one of those steps, much less all four. That’s because most memoir sites promise to commercialize your work. They’ll follow a formula based on current memoir trends, because they want to convince you that they can turn your memoir into a best-seller. These sites overwhelm you with unnecessary information not to help you, the memoir author, but to address Search Engine Optimization (SEO) algorithms so they can sell more.

That’s not what we do at Write My Memoirs. Our small community of coaches, writers and editors are every bit as skilled as any you’ll find, and we charge appropriately for their expertise and the time they’ll spend helping you craft a compelling, enjoyable read. But you won’t pay an upcharge for other websites’ commercialization, the marketing that follows, and the pages of intimidating “advice.” You can sell your book if you like—we have ISBNs available for you—but our organic process of capturing your story takes a noncommercial path.

If you want help with any or all of the four steps above, choose from our services or save money by selecting one of our packages. If you’d like to talk about what’s right for you, schedule a call. One year from now, you can be holding your published memoir in your hand. And at that point, it will be a big deal!