Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Conundrum about my memoir KRASATA

So... I am in the throws of rewrites for my book KRASATA, a Memoir of Motherhood, Down syndrome and Unexpected Beauty.

Writing is going well. I am glad that I got help from an editor before rewrites. Worth every penny!

The conundrum? Well, I am still a few chapters away from finishing and the word count is already over 68,000 words. KRASATA is getting a tad long at this rate and I can't decide if I should include both Evie's adoption and Polly's stroke at the end.

The options?

Include both, and have a looooong memoir, place the adoption where it fits chronologically and end with Polly's surgeries.


Cut out Polly's stroke and surgeries. Then the story would start in Ukraine with Polly's birth and end in Ukraine with Evie's adoption?

Opinions, PLEASE! I beg of you. I'm stuck!!


  1. write an epilogue! i love epilogues. i think the structure of starting and ending in ukraine is perfect literarily...and an epilogue wouldn't disrupt that.

  2. Bekah, an epilogue about Polly's stroke?

  3. Cut the stroke and surgeries. That's material for the sequel!!!

  4. How much would the word count be, if you included Evie's adoption and Polly's stroke? I get so confused by word count requirements for memoir. I think I would go with option one-include both and tighten up the story some more. (Of course, I only began following you through Social Media-so take that for what it's worth. I'm writing a memoir that includes a lot of medical challenges/drama. I find I need to go with my gut-keep the things I feel I need and cut some of the fluff.

  5. Personally, I would rather hear the entire story, long or not. Actually, I know your most of your story from your blogs. Your writing is compelling and there is nothing wrong with a nice long book when the writing pulls you through it. Polly's stroke, I remember reading that post so horrified for her and for you, my heart thudding in sympathy for both, feeling so very scared for Polly. I do think it should be included as part of your journey as her mother.

  6. Write it all out, Gillian. Everything you feel belongs in there. Shaping comes later. You might, in the end, have two books, one focused on each daughter, but it's too early to tell, I'd say.

  7. Go with your gut. You know best what to do. I love the comments above that say you may have two books and that your writing is so strong, we will be pulled through no matter how many pages. But I can't offer advice any better than that wise voice that is inside you.

  8. No, there is nothing wrong with a long book, except that some people, particularly your primary audience, is going to shy away from long books! (how many moms who want to read your book have time to read a long book?) I say cut the stroke, and end with the adoption in Ukraine. It's a "full circle" story at that point. Then write a second book about the adoption and the stroke with subsequent surgeries, and "life in general" raising two girls with DS.

  9. Kelley: thanks for your opinion. Now, can you please come over and write the rest of the book for me? I said please!

    Stacey, I like your suggestion of cutting out the fluff. I have cut a lot out during this draft, but somehow the book is longer. Hmmm?

    Annette: Good advice, as always. I guess I need to just keep chugging along.

    Kris, thanks for being a faithful reader. I kind of feel like it all should be in there too, if I can swing it.

    Cindy, thank you! Great suggestion. Now if only my children would can it so I could have a few moments to listen to my inner voice lol.

    Leah, I love your bluntness! Yes, it may just be too long with everything.

    Lots to think about. Thanks everyone!

  10. Gill - the epilogue could be about Polly's stroke and surgeries/an update on where the fam is now. :) Either way, I CANNOT wait to read it!

  11. I vote for ending in Ukraine and going with the epilogue option. Full circle story; clean way to end. Just my thoughts. Looking forward to reading it!

  12. I also vote for ending in the Ukraine. It's poetic! Then you can write the next book with the stroke and such.

  13. Looks like it's tipping towards ending in Ukraine... hmmm

  14. I personally would read all of it no matter how long it is :)


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