Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

War Memoirs May Skew Details

Your memoir need not be comprehensive to be honest.

A fellow blogger lists nine topics he finds that authors exclude form their war memoirs. I won’t repeat the topics here; click through to his blog On Violence if you’re curious. But I will take issue with his claim that writers who avoid topics they think readers may find unpleasant or boring compromise the integrity of their book.

I distinguish between “the truth??? and “the whole truth.??? I don’t think that you, as the writer of the story that by definition you own, are obligated to mention every last detail of what’s going on in the setting of that story. Number five on the blogger’s list is civilian deaths. “An honest memoir,??? the blogger writes, “will deal with this messy truth about any war.??? I disagree. If you’re writing a non-fiction account of the war, then I believe you should include the facts surrounding civilian deaths. But in your memoir? The war is just one more player in your story. You can write about as much or as little of it as you like, even if it becomes such a main character that you’re really writing a war memoir.

I am all for rich detail in a memoir. But the On Violence blogger calls his nine points a litmus test that must be passed for him to respect a war memoir. While I support writing only the truth in your autobiography, I  disagree that you must include the whole truth for your story to be compelling.

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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!