About Me

My photo
Well, let's see I am a: Proud parent of one daughter, Proud wife of a wonderful man, Proud American, Proud daughter of a Vietnam Vet, Proud daughter of a very caring woman, Proud sister of two wonderful and Christian men, Proud Christian Woman, Proud teacher, Proud good listener, Proud Twilight Mom and PROUD BUCKEYE FAN!!

background

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Just gotta ask...

Now that I'm getting a bit more serious about my writing, I have started doing more research about agents, platforms, editors, etc... One of my friends Deana has recently started a a blogfest. It's called Gearing Up to Get an Agent; you can find her blog and more about the contest here.

Part one of this contest is all about questions. A lot of times aspiring (or sometimes even veteran) writers have questions that seem silly, stupid, or crazy and they never want to ask them for fear of looking silly, stupid, or crazy. You get the idea. Now is my chance to ask one of those quesitons. So here goes.

Since I'm writing about my own life, is it a memoir? Then again it was so long ago that I don't remember every detail, so is it creative nonfiction? My book is definitely YA; can you even have YA nonfiction? I am having a hard time trying to figure out which agents to even approach because I'm not sure what my book is.

If you feel like you need to know more about my book to answer these questions for me, just read below. The first couple of chapters are listed here as previous posts.
Thanks, y'all!

17 comments:

Lora R. Rivera said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lora R. Rivera said...

Woops! Typos galore in that last comment...

Here's my 2cents:

If you're writing about your life, and the point of the whole narrative arc is your life story, then yeah, it's memoir.

If your writing is inspired by events from your past, but the narrative arc isn't necessarily about you (i.e. the themes and outcomes point elsewhere), you could get away with calling it creative nonfiction.

If your writing is inspired by your life events but the plot is about another girl who happens to be a lot like you, it's fiction.

My advice, go with option 2 or 3, probably 3, since it's super hard to get memoirs pubbed without massive platform.

Cheers! Good question, and nice to meet you :D
--Lora @lroseriver

marcie_ann said...

That makes sense, Lora, thank you. But crap because the book is definitely my arc, my story. To change it now would be a massive undertaking, but one that I would be willing to do if it meant publication. Thanks again for your help! And nice to meet you as well. :D

Angelina C. Hansen said...

I just read something from agent Kristen Nelson (who just got back from a long visit with editors in NY) that some editors are looking for YA memoir. If it's your story 100%, it's memoir.

Alleged Author said...

Lora is absolutely right. If your novel contains only bits and pieces of your life but inspires a greater plot, then it is not a memoir.

Kristi Bernard said...

YA as nonfiction... very interesting. I don't know why you couldn't.

alexia said...

Lora seemed to nail it!

Michelle Fayard said...

Hi, Marcie,

Looking at your excerpts (and if I hadn't read your blogfest question), I would have guessed that you're writing fiction because of how you're structuring your plot, e.g. your excellent use of dialogue and the POV. Besides, isn't at least a portion of all of our writing about what we know and have experienced?

I agree with Lora that I think you'll find it easier to get published if you don't sell this as a YA memoir. I'd love to read more of this ms; wishing you much good luck with it!

Michelle

kathy stemke said...

The way I understand it, if you have fiction in it it's fiction.

Laura Barnes said...

If you can sell it as fiction, then call it fiction. Fiction largely based on your life. That works for me!

Laura
laurabwriter.blogspot.com

LINDY said...

Lora bagged this one. And I also agree with her when it comes to labeling your work as fiction-should be an easier sell. :P

marcie_ann said...

Thanks for the great information and insights, everyone!

As I said in my earlier response to Lora, this is 100% my story; the only fictional parts about it are the things I can't quite remember. For example, did that event really occur at Pizza Hut or were we at KFC, that type of thing.

I guess I'm writing it as fiction because that's what I know, that's what I read. I suppose it could be marketed/sold as fiction, just based on my life like Laura said.

Deana said...

Marcie, beign a member of your critique group I would say it is all about you sure, but if you don't remember parts of your story maybe you should make it a fictional...a character based on you. I don't think you would have to change much and you would be opening your market up to a much bigger audience. I think Lora is right--of course she is, she was an agent--that unless you have a super big platform (like being famous or something) people aren't going to want to read a memoir. BUT, the story you have to tell, if told as a story, well that is interesting:)

marcie_ann said...

Okay then; fiction it is! Thanks everyone!

Pk Hrezo said...

Hi, Marcie Ann! Nice to meet you.
I've heard (or read) many agenst interested in finding YA memoir. You can def find one if you research.
Best of luck!

Mandie said...

As being part of your critique group too ;) I find this conversation interesting. I had never thought of it as fiction but now that I do I really think you will open your market up - A LOT!!!

Mandie

Donna K. Weaver said...

Good question. And some great answers. I like what Lora says. She's smart. =D