Aiming Your Memoir at a Young Audience?

Aiming Your Memoir at a Young Audience?
“Brutally attacked by rebel soldiers who cut off both her hands….” That’s the beginning of a synopsis of The Bite of the Mango by Miratu Kamara, a book included on About.com’s list of biographies, autobiographies and memoirs for teens. Apparently teens are a tough bunch these days. Other books on the list relate the lives of a drug smuggling gone horribly wrong, teenagers on death row, a “boy soldier” in Sierre Leone and, perhaps most famous, a young surfer whose arm was chewed off by a shark.
If you believe that your memoir has something to offer young people, there’s no need to sugar-coat your life’s experiences. Write your story in words a 14-year-old can understand. Try to keep it under 300 pages. Don’t overplay the graphic detail involving violence or sex. Present it in a way that there’s a lesson they can take away—that’s probably the hardest requirement. School libraries and the young people’s sections of public libraries will carry your book if it strikes the librarians as “powerful” in painting the picture of a series of events and in delivering a message.
Without a message, the story of your life is a narrative that will resonate only with the people who know you. If you think you have something of value to teach to young people who will be inspired to follow in your footsteps, or the opposite—will be able to avoid making the same mistakes you made—write with those teens in mind.
http://childrensbooks.about.com/od/5youngadultbooks/tp/contemporary-biographies-autobiographies-memoirs-for-teens.htm

“Brutally attacked by rebel soldiers who cut off both her hands….” That’s the beginning of a synopsis of The Bite of the Mango by Miratu Kamara, a book included on About.com’s list of biographies, autobiographies and memoirs for teens. Apparently teens are a tough bunch these days. Other books on the list relate the lives of a drug smuggling gone horribly wrong, teenagers on death row, a “boy soldier” in Sierre Leone and, perhaps most famous, a young surfer whose arm was chewed off by a shark.

If you believe that your memoir has something to offer young people, there’s no need to sugar-coat your life’s experiences. Write your story in words a 14-year-old can understand. Try to keep it under 300 pages. Don’t overplay the graphic detail involving violence or sex. Present it in a way that there’s a lesson they can take away—that’s probably the hardest requirement. School libraries and the young people’s sections of public libraries will carry your book if it strikes the librarians as “powerful” in painting the picture of a series of events and in delivering a message.

Without a message, the story of your life is a narrative that will resonate only with the people who know you. If you think you have something of value to teach to young people who will be inspired to follow in your footsteps, or the opposite—will be able to avoid making the same mistakes you made—write with those teens in mind.

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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 that extra 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. SCHEDULE A CALL TODAY if you’d like to talk about what’s right for you. One year from now, you can be holding your published memoir in your hand. And at that point, it will be a big deal!