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View Full Version : How long is too long and how short is too short for a MEMOIR



RainBrain
07-28-2005, 03:22 PM
keep in mind, i'm writing about something very few have thought to write about.


i have a memoir right now with only 137 pages (12point, Dark Courier, 1point margin all over).

i'm thinking about stopping right here but i dont know.

when i started writing this, i had a different agenda in mind but was somehow deviated to what the end result is now. the original manuscript was 172pages long 43000 words but after reading it over like 3 to 4 times i decided to cut out parts where i sort of embellished the truth.

now, i have 137 pages (34,000 words) of solid truth. my question, is this too short? i could probably add more to it to bring it up to 40000 but, what do you guys think?

Lauri B
07-28-2005, 04:44 PM
keep in mind, i'm writing about something very few have thought to write about.


i have a memoir right now with only 137 pages (12point, Dark Courier, 1point margin all over).

i'm thinking about stopping right here but i dont know.

when i started writing this, i had a different agenda in mind but was somehow deviated to what the end result is now. the original manuscript was 172pages long 43000 words but after reading it over like 3 to 4 times i decided to cut out parts where i sort of embellished the truth.

now, i have 137 pages (34,000 words) of solid truth. my question, is this too short? i could probably add more to it to bring it up to 40000 but, what do you guys think?
I think it depends entirely on what your goals are for this. If you've written your memoir and it has only taken you 34,000 words, then fine. If you are hoping to publish it and are looking for a publisher, the length isn't going to be as much of an issue as whether or not your story is one that others would buy. Memoir is a tricky sell unless you're famous.

RainBrain
07-28-2005, 05:32 PM
I think it depends entirely on what your goals are for this. If you've written your memoir and it has only taken you 34,000 words, then fine. If you are hoping to publish it and are looking for a publisher, the length isn't going to be as much of an issue as whether or not your story is one that others would buy. Memoir is a tricky sell unless you're famous.



here's my answer to the trick. my memoir is half about me and half about a talent i have.

the part that talked about my life is only to lead into how i came to have this talent.

Lauri B
07-28-2005, 07:47 PM
here's my answer to the trick. my memoir is half about me and half about a talent i have.

the part that talked about my life is only to lead into how i came to have this talent.

Okay, then it sounds like you should pitch it and see what happens. In other words, there is no set of "memoir rules" that publishers have regarding whether or not they'll accept a manuscript. It depends wholly on the manuscript itself. Good luck!!
Lauri

christa
07-29-2005, 04:20 PM
I agree. I think you should pitch it out there and see what comes of it. Put the energy into a new direction. Memoir is a challenging sell and credibility is key. Later if an editor/agent suggests you add to it, you always can do so. I had a similar experience with a memoir I had in progress. It's agenda started out as one thing, and ended up becoming something else. I finally had to give up the ship.

All is not lost though, I have used snipits from it here and there in other writings. And eventually more books came along.

RainBrain
07-29-2005, 05:27 PM
I agree. I think you should pitch it out there and see what comes of it. Put the energy into a new direction. Memoir is a challenging sell and credibility is key. Later if an editor/agent suggests you add to it, you always can do so. I had a similar experience with a memoir I had in progress. It's agenda started out as one thing, and ended up becoming something else. I finally had to give up the ship.

All is not lost though, I have used snipits from it here and there in other writings. And eventually more books came along.


Thanks a lot for your input. believe me, i too seriously considered giving up the ship on my memoir but i realized that frame of mind was due to the time of day i tried working on the book. it was in broad day light and my mind was everywhere and not focused. but when i woke up midnight, it was a total different feeling.

Sara Rachael Hope
08-10-2005, 07:38 AM
My memoir is currently over 300 pages and I have not even had time to include so much of what I have already experienced.
It will probably be finished once I really die.
The most challenging part of the novel is writing it as though I am already dead and as if someone is actually reading it!
How many pages is The Bell Jar? Anyone know?