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Feel like I need to write about my past

(6 Posts)
Cagliostro Thu 16-Feb-17 22:48:11

Really, really need. I'm not quite sure why other than maybe the fact that a few things have brought it up in my mind lately.

I'm not really sure where to start. I have the basis of a story in mind that I've been mulling over for ages, with elements of my own life in it. But I feel like this is different and that I need to do this first before I can actually settle down to the fictional stuff. I just want to get it out. I've worked through it, I'm ok, but I feel like it's burning me from the inside lately.

It's not an exceptional story. It's a disturbingly common one. Abuse, useless parents who did fuck all about it etc. I'm not even sure why I'm posting, but a bit of encouragement or tips on how to make a start would be awesome. thanks

AristotlesTrousers Fri 17-Feb-17 07:55:19

Do you mean you want to write it like a memoir to start with, before deciding whether/how to fictionalise it? Although there's no reason it wouldn't work as a straightforward memoir if that's what you wanted to write. I did that, and ended up keeping it as a memoir.

One book I found really useful in the early stages of writing was 'Writing Life Stories' by Bill Roorbach.
www.amazon.co.uk/Writing-Life-Stories-Memories-Literature-ebook/dp/B005C5TKDG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487317969&sr=8-1&keywords=Bill+roorbach&tag=mumsnetforum-21

Cagliostro Fri 17-Feb-17 10:04:52

Thanks for your reply smile

Yes I think a memoir type thing first. Not that there's enough to write really, it'd mostly just be random memories but maybe it would be good for me to work on making them into a coherent narrative?!

The story is a thriller that I dreamed up a while ago that has one very strong link to my life - not the abuse but the way it all came out in my teens. I haven't got the plot all sorted though so I'm not ready to start yet. Hopefully doing the other project will help!

Thanks for the book recommendation I'll check that out smile

ElvishArchdruid Sat 18-Feb-17 11:38:51

There's another free book on Amazon Kindle, it was £10 or is £10 for a print version...

Writing the Overnight Bestseller - R Connor

It's got good reviews too.

GalenJustGalen Mon 27-Feb-17 00:28:08

Bit late here but I wanted to offer some encouragement. I've been in a similar position, with a story in me that apparently just really wants telling, but which I was having some trouble getting out of me (and out of the way). I just couldn't seem to do it, though, and this stoppage was blocking all my other writing. I knew I wouldn't do it unless I kinda had to, so I signed up for a 6-week writing workshop through the adult education program at a local high school. I figured if I knew I'd be expected to read something once a week, my need to follow through on stuff would force me to actually produce something to read.

It worked. The final class is coming up this week, and I have to say it's been really helpful to just get the basics of the damn story out. Like you, I'd already worked through it well enough emotionally, but the process of writing about it has been bringing a different kind of closure to the whole thing, and I'm feeling less blocked up about writing other stuff than I have in years. So I wholeheartedly recommend you give writing it out a go!

Interesting side-note: although I didn't go into this workshop thinking I wanted to actually "do" anything with the story -- just wanted to get it out of the way -- it has turned out to be something that I can incorporate into other stuff. I'm actually going to be extending my time in the writing group to a more open-ended thing.

As for tips on how to start (other than finding a writing group of some sort)...I had a book back in the 80s that was about writing personal life stories. It had a bunch of exercises and such. The one I remember being the most useful was to just sit down and start with "I remember" and take it from there. And any time you get stuck, just start a new sentence with "I remember."

Abuse stories can be tough, but I do think writing can be its own form of additional healing, even when you've already pretty much come to terms with it all. Good luck!

WooWooWitchetyWoo Fri 10-Mar-17 20:24:12

I'm a ghostwriter and have worked with a lot of abuse survivors - maybe reading some of the genre would give you an idea of the structure?

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