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OHCowgirl
04-25-2007, 08:46 PM
I've written (and published a book on Lulu) called A Love Sentence, about life as an abused wife. I wrote it in fictional form, combining a lot of true stories I've been told by women in shelter and from my own personal experience as the punching bag of an abuser. I added a lot of referrals and help lines at the end as well as some helpful things in the story itself, like safety plans and what defines an abuser.

I wanted women to be able to read this book, even in front of their abusers, which is why I wrote it as fiction. I felt it would be easier too for friends of victims to give this informational book to the victims, as fiction.

Any one else ever do something like this?

Ritergal
04-26-2007, 03:52 PM
Connie,

Congratulations on completing that book! I haven't personally embarked on such a project, but a man in one of my writing groups is doing something similar with a novel about recovery. He's been attending AA meetings for thirty years, and has pretty much seen it all. The novel is so gripping, we don't want him to quit reading!

Your reasons for presenting your material as fiction make solid sense to me. But, truth be told, any story any of us writes is fiction in a sense. The human mind is designed to add meaning to events as we experience them, and no two people ever experience a shared event exactly the same way. When we tell the story, we tell it as we experienced it. Although sometimes it's useful to document facts like dates and the "factual" content of experiences, in most cases, the whole point of telling any personal story is to convey the meaning it has for us.

I explore this topic in my book, The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing as I tell how my sister and I discovered we grew up in different families, and in an account of a staged "crime" and the different interpretations reported by unsuspecting eye witnesses during a mock trial. The trial was held to illustrate the workings of the justice system during a leadership camp, but the most powerful outcome was illustrating the unreliability of eye witness testimony!

You had a purpose in writing. Obviously, you could best achieve that purpose by arranging your points in the most effective way for the purpose, and you, as my friend, can surely best achieve your purpose by borrowing a few scenes from here, combining a couple from there, and tweaking a few from other people's experience.

Writing it must have been a terrific challenge for you, and I salute your awesome persistence. I read the preview on the Lulu website, and you've gotten me hooked in. Nearly everyone knows someone who has dealt with the "I want my birth father to walk me down the aisle", though most of these stories involve displacing a living stepfather.

Just yesterday one of our local librarians mentioned that he plans to update our collection in this area of spousal abuse. I'll definitely mention your title to him. It will be interesting to hear his thoughts on ordering from Lulu!

I'd like to hear more about your experience working with Lulu.com. I see this is your second book with them. Did you have anyone help you with proof-reading and editing? Proofing is my personal Achilles heel! How do you plan to promote the book? Questions tumble out ... .

Cheers, and every best wish,

Sharon/Ritergal

Pamster
04-26-2007, 05:12 PM
I've written (and published a book on Lulu) called A Love Sentence, about life as an abused wife. I wrote it in fictional form, combining a lot of true stories I've been told by women in shelter and from my own personal experience as the punching bag of an abuser. I added a lot of referrals and help lines at the end as well as some helpful things in the story itself, like safety plans and what defines an abuser.

I wanted women to be able to read this book, even in front of their abusers, which is why I wrote it as fiction. I felt it would be easier too for friends of victims to give this informational book to the victims, as fiction.

Any one else ever do something like this?

I wrote my memoir as a novelized, form, but I don't know that it will sell anytime soon. I have a version of it also as non-fiction but from 3rd person perspective. Just a small sample to share and show the voice I wrote with to compose my memoir:



Chapter One

It had been another horrible day at school when Pamela left to head home on her motorcycle. Intent on escaping the campus where some people who’d known her all her life felt justified tormenting her day after day. She frowned when she unlocked her helmet and realized her motorcycle’s back tire was completely flat.

"Who the hell did this to my freaking bike?" Pam wondered aloud.

Someone had either let the air out of the tire or actually punctured it, she couldn’t tell. But she was furious. It was hard enough coming back here after having dropped out the year before during the first semester of her senior year. Now she was starting to think it wasn’t worth it, as the heat beat down on her head and shoulders.

"Hey fatso! Too bad about your bike!" An unfamiliar pompous teenage boy yelled at her tauntingly from the safety of his friend’s Camero.
Pam looked up furious and glared at the kid leaning out of the black car; "You shut the hell up! Come say that to my face and see what you get jerk!"

The scorching heat was awful this time of the afternoon, but furious or not Pam didn’t have any choice. She realized that to get her bike home she had to push the damned thing. What a wonderful way to start off the week, she thought bitterly to herself as she did her best to ignore the annoying jeering comments of other kids as they fled the campus in packs.

# # #

So you can see it's related differently then a first person narrative, I don't have much experience with that yet and am working on it. But this is the current form and POV telling my memoir, A Story of Two Pams, I wrote this opening bit year ago, because it took years to finally get to where I could finish it. :)

Hope this was helpful to you, OHCowgirl. :D Welcome to the board! :)

Ritergal
04-27-2007, 04:02 PM
Pam,

If you want to read an example of a memoir written in third person, get a copy of The Invention of Solitude, by Paul Auster, author of several novels and essay collections. This book of memories about his father is written in two sections, and he wrote the second section in third person. The book is tenderly touching and the first part is full of suspense, but I was often confused in the second part. It isn't always easy to tell whether "he" refers to the author or his father. This may be a challenge for you too.

Perhaps others were less distracted by the third person. Seventeen people wrote glowing reviews on Amazon.

I'm curious about your reason for choosing third person to write your story.

Write on!

Sharon

Pamster
04-27-2007, 04:11 PM
Hi Sharon,

I decided that it would read better in third person, especially since I am not comfortable writing like an entire manuscript in first person. Thanks for the recommendation on that memoir, I will check it out and see how that author did it and compare to mine. :)

Welcome to AW btw, this is the first time I've seen you posting so I want to welcome you to the Cooler! :D

Penny Graham
05-13-2007, 10:00 PM
I've written (and published a book on Lulu) called A Love Sentence, about life as an abused wife. I wrote it in fictional form, combining a lot of true stories I've been told by women in shelter and from my own personal experience as the punching bag of an abuser. I added a lot of referrals and help lines at the end as well as some helpful things in the story itself, like safety plans and what defines an abuser.

I wanted women to be able to read this book, even in front of their abusers, which is why I wrote it as fiction. I felt it would be easier too for friends of victims to give this informational book to the victims, as fiction.

Any one else ever do something like this?
Hi Oh Cowgirl, I am interested in how your lulu experience went, as I am probably going to have to go the same route, just because of the word count which is higher than most submission guidelines. Are you getting any traffic to your site from the key words, and how have the sales been from strangers. It sounds like a much needed book and a great reason to write it. Please let me know.

mum23
05-13-2007, 11:12 PM
I too am writing a memoir on life as a stepmum and all the problems an ex wife brings. Hope to share my experiences with other stepmums. I've added diary entries to back up the emotion.