I know I'm vacillating back and forth, but I honestly don't think that's a bad thing. After all, I'm not in a hurry. I mostly started writing my memoir to see if I could do it and because I simply love the process and activity of writing. When I thought I was finished, after several re-writes, I queried a handful of agents. Several of them requested I send them my MS but that's as far as I got. There were no real takers. Fortunately though, I got valuable feedback. The majority said my writing was good, but the one remark that stood out loud and clear was that I needed to dig deeper.
OK, so I need to dig deeper. Now that shouldn't be too hard should it? Alas, I was wrong about that. It was very hard. I didn't know where to start. In fact, I was somewhat confused about what that meant and how to do it. I went back to the journals and the how-to books to find the answer. Some were helpful, like Stephen King's and a couple of others, but most were not.
I finally realized it was up to me to find a way. So I began sitting with a scene for hours, first thinking about it, then picturing it, and finally feeling it, trying to get to the soul of it. I would ask myself How did I feel when this happened? or ...when he of she said this or that to me? I was working on my first three chapters, 'cause those are the ones most agents ask for. I was actually making a modicum of progress, but it was taking forever. Finally, I decided to hire a content editor.
Best idea I've had in a long time. She was great. She pointed out all the places I needed to reveal more about myself, about my feelings, my motives, my thinking and so on. She also included suggestions and asked questions that got me thinking. I printed out all her edits and re-read my first three chapters, referring to her notes and making changes as I went along.
When I finished, I was delighted with the result. My chapters may not be perfect, or even salable ( I'm not a publisher), but the pages have come alive.
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