Yesterday I was working with a client on focusing her memoir. To me the beginning middle and end of her story seemed so clear. The symbolism was all there, even in her title, and it carried all the way through. She couldn’t see it.
That’s why I ask my clients to take the time to go through the proposal process, to step back and put on a business hat and look at their project not only with creative eyes but also with business eyes. To see the markets and readers. To see the competition. To see the whole book, start to finish. To see the big picture. Sometimes you need distance. Sometimes you need someone else’s eyes as well.
Take the time to map our your whole memoir. Decide where it starts and ends. Then look at all the events. How do they play together? How do the people play together? Which ones are most important? Which ones will you focus upon?
By the way, this client is creating a business around this memoir. It’s just the first of several books. She came to me with an idea…or ideas. She will likely extrapolate at least three books from her experiences. You can do the same from your memoir — create more than one nonfiction book or create a business around it.
Focus. Focus. Focus.