Memoir or Fiction?



Ok, this writing thing is hard. After working two rounds with my development editor, my manuscript is finally ready for copy edits. Although writing my story hasn't been easy, God gave me the grace to bare my soul to bring hope to others. It has been quite a journey.  

Two years ago, I started writing my story as a memoir. Then I got stuck. Since some of the events happened a long time ago, I struggled with getting dates and places right. Something didn't feel right as I grappled with whether or not to share the darker moments. Unlike my first book, I needed to hire an editor to help me craft this one.

When my editor suggested that I write my story as a novel, my heart leaped. Her idea resonated with me. Writing fiction gave me creative freedom. 


So what if I didn't remember things correctly, I could use my imaginations to create dialogue and scenes. She was right; I got unstuck, and creativity flowed. I was finally able to write my story.

Now I had another problem. I was at the halfway point between memoir and full fiction. There were things that memoir can get away with that don't fly in novels and vice versa. I had no idea how to make the complete switch. 


So, I hired a development editor who helped me put the story in a fiction structure and develop a cohesive plot. She was worth her weight in gold.

Perhaps you are where I was a couple of years ago. You have a book in you and trying to figure if it's a memoir or novel. Here are three advantages to writing a novel.

Three Advantages of Writing Your Story as a Novel

1. More creative freedomPerhaps you're uncomfortable with relying on your memory. The good news is you can fictionalize characters, scenes, and dialogue yet still tell your story. You're better off calling your work fiction if you can't remember the truth.

2. You believe it might upset people mentioned in the book. Maybe you want to write about something that happened to you but afraid that it will affect your relationship with loved ones. Writing fiction can protect their privacy and reduce the conflict about what you've written. 

3. If this is your first book. Consider writing a fiction. Unless you're famous, a good memoir is hard to write well and tough to market. The problem with real-life it doesn't have a story arc, compelling dialogue, and good pacing. Thus it isn't easy to keep the reader's attention.

I never set out to write a novel, but I learned that it was the best way to write my story. I Met Her Before is a novel about Marcia, a military spouse who has no clue she is a victim of childhood sexual abuse––until her past comes back to haunt her. Marcia must begin a journey of faith to uncover the truth and reconnect with the frightened child who repressed what happened to her to survive.

As an incest survivor, I want to give others hope on an issue that very few want to discuss. I Met Her Before shows the aftermath of childhood sexual abuse and the healing influence that love can have. God can heal our hidden hurts, and incest survivors can thrive after abuse.

Keep an eye out on my Facebook and Instagram page for a sneak peek of my cover and details of the launch date.

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© 2019 Chandra Moyer
 

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