Going out on a limb with new idea

I have 10 documents on my desktop and can't seem to get off my butt and write. Then I got an idea to write something about my dad's time in Korea and growing up in the Appalachians. This will be a very different area of writing for me. He wants to inlcude some modern day stuff too which I didn't but just throwing it out there and see what you guys think. If nothing else it will be a great book for the family but would like to make some money Smiley Happy

Comments

  • What would make this book different? What would set it apart from other biographies? Those would be some of the most important questions to ask if you want the book to sell to the general public.

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  • I have a friend who's grandfather was a member of the Communist party in the 60s. He didn't really know his grandad, so he did a ton of research, then wrote a great series of essays/creative nonfiction looking at the facts, then fictionalizing the events. I don't think he's published it as of yet, but what I read of it was great and really opened up the idea of historical fiction with a personal element built in.

     

     

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    I have 10 documents on my desktop and can't seem to get off my butt and write.

     

    To do with your dad's story?

     

    Then I got an idea to write something about my dad's time in Korea and growing up in the Appalachians.

     

    I will assume that was a long time ago? And I assume it was the Korean War? Which was a long time ago! Unless he kept diaries then it will all be done from memory, which is not often faultless. I would suggest doing it as a Based On, semi-fictionalised story, which is not an uncommon thing to do. (It will be an opportunity to change names also, if required.)

     

    This will be a very different area of writing for me. He wants to inlcude some modern day stuff too which I didn't but just throwing it out there and see what you guys think.

     

    Well, he could be reminiscing with a son, perhaps? Sat talking. But also about how his past effected his present.

     

    If nothing else it will be a great book for the family but would like to make some money Smiley Happy

     

    Good luck with that  Smiley Happy

  • Most of the stories are more about his personal experiences growing up in the Appalachians and his stay in Korea during the war. Most are humorous and are fun to hear. Growing up in the Apps was interesting as to how much has changed since then.

  • Shadowmonkey wrote:
    Most of the stories are more about his personal experiences growing up in the Appalachians and his stay in Korea during the war. Most are humorous and are fun to hear. Growing up in the Apps was interesting as to how much has changed since then.

    Shadowmonkey, I think that this could be a really fun project for you. It's not likely to be a commercial success, but it's going to give you a different perspective on your father, and it will help preserve his memories for the younger generations of your family.

     

    Some advice: Make each story a self-contained mini-chapter unless it ties to something else. Little vignettes, little slices of life. Don't try to tie them into a single long narrative.

     

    In each story, ask yourself, "Is this really funny? Is this really interesting? Is this really different?" I would try to separate out maybe twenty or twenty-five little stories that are the pearls of the collection. Then I'd polish each of those until it was shiny and bright.

     

    An example of this sort of thing done really well: "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" -- someone took a collection of Richard Feynman's essays and short stories -- all things that really happened to him -- and make a book out of it. It's a best-seller. People love it, because it gives a great picture of a great man. Each story is its own self-contained "pearl." There's no overall plot or story-line.

     

    (Okay, he helped develop the atomic bomb, and he was a famous Nobel Laureate. But the book sells because it's well-written.)

     

    A bad example is the book Yeager, by Chuck Yeager. He had a lot of really neat things happen over the course of his life, he flew a lot of really cool airplanes, and he had a great life. But he wastes an entire chapter talking about a bar where he used to drink with his wife and the bar-owner's family, and what great times they had, and all that.

     

    If you were there, that chapter would mean a lot to you, and I'm sure he felt like he couldn't have written the book without it. But it didn't belong in the book. He had so many other things to tell us, and he wasted an entire book writing about a po-dunk bar on a dry lakebed in Southern California.

     

    So here's the advice, for what it's worth: Don't write the parts you feel like you should write because htey're meaningful to you. Write the parts that are going to be funny or meaningful or interesting to everyone.

     

    I hope the project goes well.

  • Thanks Skoob, pretty much what I was thinking. Little short stories but don't tie together. Most are funny or interesting although there are some a little sad he wants put in like the death of his wife. But yes selling or not ,  a great book of memories for the family who have yet to buy my first two books lol. Well my sister did Smiley Happy

  • One of my friends has a copy of each of my books, and hasn't read any of them.

     

    I think I need friends who read more. Smiley Very Happy

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Little short stories but don't tie together.

     

    But surely they are linked in his life?


  • kevinlomas wrote:

    Little short stories but don't tie together.

     

    But surely they are linked in his life?


    The point is not to attempt continuity. Let them each be a separate story, that does not rely upon the previous story nor shed light on the next story.

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