by Susie Kinslow Adams
You have finally moved from simply wanting to write your memoir to actually writing it.
Do not miss the excitement of this moment.
Take time to let it soak in.
Very few people come this far.
You are one step closer to publishing your story.
In this part of my series of posts about Writing Your Memoir, we will focus on the final touches to make your work something you will be proud to share.
Before you proceed, bundle up all of your old notes and unused materials except for the typed copy you worked on in the last session.
This is very important to do in order to finish the project.
Bundle all the pages and notes having to do with this memoir and store them away from your work area.
You have chosen the best for your story so trust your final draft.
Now, here are five important steps before we move to the publishing session.
1. Think back to our first session when you determined who you were writing this memoir for.
Was it family and close friends or a larger audience?
This will help determine publishing options later.
2. Are you pleased with the stories you are telling?
Will others mentioned in the book be comfortable with what you wrote?
Do you need to talk with them before publishing?
3. If you have several chapters, do they flow well?
Will the reader be able to follow the story without going back to a previous chapter?
Have you written so the action moves easily from one chapter to the next?
4. As you do final editing, look for obvious errors.
Do not rely on the computer for spelling and grammar check.
Correct spelling and punctuation will enhance the integrity of your work.
5. When you have done all you can do, it is a very important to have others proof your copy before publishing.
Be sure to get editing help from other professionals.
Caution: good friends are not necessarily the ones to edit.
I found most of my friends and family read my work with thoughts on the content alone and not on the writing itself.
Three friends returned the first chapters of my first book with glowing compliments saying, “I wouldn’t change a thing, it’s perfect!”
After having the same chapters critiqued by a writer’s guild and by a former teacher, I got a different story.
These individuals found many grammatical errors which, when corrected, made my work something I could be proud to put my name on.
Do not be afraid of criticism.
Learn from it.
However, be sure the keep the integrity of your story as you make changes. Stay true to your story as you want it told.
In the final session of this series next month, we will discuss publishing your book.
About Susie Kinslow Adams
Susie Kinslow Adams is a wife, mother, and grandmother whose earliest memories are of caring for grandparents and offering hugs and hope to shy or struggling classmates. Her work alongside her husband in ministry has provided years of experience with groups and individuals from children to senior adults. Susie is a gifted author, writer, speaker and storyteller.
Susie and her husband have a country home in the Ozarks and enjoy the wonders of nature. She loves working in her flowers and capturing all the little country critters and birds on film.
Sign up for her newsletter and get practical tips and help for yourself and those you care for as well as real hope for daily living at www.susiekinslowadams.com.