Tuesday, October 04, 2011

I Changed My Mind: Editing Personal Narrative Books

by Jean Purcell
Jean's new blog, Your Personal Book, for personal narrative writers.
Follow Jean on Twitter @opinaripeople

Fuzzy image of my book's clear cover. 
Someone asked me to help their friend's important personal story become a book. My first thought was to say, "No." However, I took it on. 
    My instinct to say "no" was due to my experience writing a personal experience story. These are true events that have deeply affected a person's life, perspectives, often with transformational effects.
    Over a period of 14 years, including five years "off," I finished my personal narrative book, with editing, book analysis, and publishing help from others. I have written all my life and have enjoyed it. I love to organize thoughts and to plan, so that helped, eventually.
   Philip Ralli of Highland Books UK contracted with me for the first publication, and I was thrilled. Philip gave the story the breakthrough introduction the book and author needed. The editor did a great job, too, and said that the manuscript was in good shape. (I credit both the book critique person and editor that helped me before Philip ever saw the book, for giving the shaping-up that helped me enormously in the process.)
     The personal narrative book I recently edited began as a  project for hire. Later, Opine decided to publish it. It is that good. We publish only books we like enormously, and those are the ones that come also at just the right time for us and the authors.
    Personal narrative books must have these basics:
(1) a compelling story interpreted profoundly, as it deserves
(2) a skilled writer/author
(3) a highly cooperative author when editing gets down and dirty;
(4) editing that guards the writer's voice
(5) awareness by author and editor that the emotional roller coaster that some true stories have will not destroy the writer who gives the work its due time, without rushing it or avoiding it.

   Refugee Was My Name is the recently published personal narrative published by Opine Publishing. The author is Mogama (Moses Garswa Matally), an amazing Liberian teacher and pastor now living in Kentucky USA. His book's development had all of the basic elements needed for its success and the author's future sharing of his story, to benefit many readers far beyond the refugee experience, as well as those who have gone through it in Liberia and other places.

Copyright (c)2011 Jean Purcell,Opinari Writers,Opine Publishing
Opine Publishing-Books that Last fills a select niche for Christian books with enjoyable, thought-provoking, and memorable reading. Opine Publishing's niche is books for today and for many tomorrows.

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment