Journey worth taking
You’ve travelled the globe on the internet shuttle plucking out each and every detail to write your memoir. Perhaps it’s a personal memoir limited to your life and those you have interacted with, or perhaps it’s an account of your ancestors who have long since passed but deserve to be remembered.
You type the last word and breathe a sigh of contentment. You’re finished! But are you really finished?
Think back to the reason why you embarked on this exploration and why you poured your valuable time into it. It may have been to understand who you are, where you’ve come from, and what events or situations have helped to shape your life and make you: YOU. Or it may have been to store all those memories before they were lost forever and preserve them for your children’s children.
Improve your real life story
Before you hit the print button, consider if your story can be better. Is your manuscript riddled with poor grammar or annoying typos? Do you stumble over passages when reading it? We can clean up all those distractions and allow your readers to be swept away with how people can triumph over the darkest moments and soar with inspiration over the best times.
Did you notice that your memoir was referred to as a manuscript in the previous paragraph? You may not realise it, but that memoir you’ve been working on for some time is actually a manuscript. It’s a creative non-fiction tale of your life or the lives of your ancestors, and even though it has been written from facts and real occurrences, it’s still a manuscript.
Manuscript assessment for your memoir
Like all manuscripts, your memoir could benefit from a professional assessment. A manuscript assessment looks at the building block of the story – the way it reveals itself. Is it confusing or missing important information? An assessment looks at the people involved; are they real people that the reader can almost reach out a hand and touch, or are they merely one dimensional beings that don’t evoke emotions from the reader?
An assessment highlights all the elements that are not working, as well as the aspects that work brilliantly. That doesn’t mean removing important facts in the memoir; it just means they are not working in the current way and needs additional work.
When a writer is close to a project, like you and your memoir, it can be difficult to see when something isn’t working well. It may be as simple as not enough information. Because you know the events well, and possibly can picture it clearly, doesn’t mean that it has been revealed on the page so the reader can visualise it too.
Unless you’re planning on putting that memoir you’ve written in the bottom drawer, so no one else can read it, it is a wise move to seek professional advice and assess it for readability.
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