To ensure that your memoir is a tight one, it will probably be necessary to cut some of your text.
Having finished my childhood memoir, French Boy / A 1950s Franco-American Childhood, of course, I have been thinking of all the things that I did not put into the memoir. Some of these omissions, I would say, were interesting and might have contributed to my story’s theme and plot line. However, the memoir had reached 350 pages, and I knew it was imperative to limit any further lengthening of the story.
Many writers have said—and I paraphrase—”a work of art is never finished. It is merely abandoned.”
Keeping this observation in mind, I understood, as every writer must, that I needed to choose the point of abandonment carefully. Cut back too early, and you don’t make your point—establish the importance of your theme—in your memoir. Abandon too late, and you risk having too much in your memoir and turning your reader off.
Cut memoir text
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