POV problems

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Jwriter

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Has anyone ever written a memoir FOR someone else? Or seen it done? I'm doing that now, and my experience is in writing third-person NF -- feature stories, etc. I know most memoirs are first person POV, because you're reading that person's own story. In this case, it's more of a ... well, I'm writing his story, supplemented with recollections and thoughts from other people who has been in the guy's life over the years. Why? Because he's blind and can't do it himself, mainly. I'm trying to wrap these things together -- his first-person stories punctuated by some third-person narration to move the story along (he's telling me his history and I'm transcribing and believe me -- the guy is formal.) In my head, it can work. But the idea is to get an agent to go for it when I'm done. Is this too off-the-beaten-path? Are there examples of where this worked out there?
 

morngnstar

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It sounds a lot like ghost-writing, which doesn't inhibit using first person. The only difference is if you will put your name as the author, which would make the first person confusing. Perhaps you could be listed as co-authors?
 

gettingby

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If you are ghost writing or helping to write this man's memoir, I am assuming his name will be listed as the author, and, at least, the majority will be written in first person. If you are planning to claim credit for the writing, I don't really think it is a memoir anymore. That being said, I have read one memoir that switches to third person for, I think, two of the chapters. Those chapters were about things that the author was not present for. Anyway, it is done very well. The memoir is called The Suicide Index by Joan Wickersham. It is really great. I think that is the only time I have ever seen it done. And it really does work for Wickersham. I hope that helps.
 

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