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Writing Books/Memoir - how to convey the story


I'm in the process of writing a memoir about all that happened during my recent stay in an inpatient facility, and this book will be factual to the best of my memory. It's the truth that has the power!

However I have a few things Im finding hard to distinguish.

Q1. Do I write it as a recall, for example 'I remember the musky smell of his vest as I stood with it covering my chest? Or like I'm actually there now 'I ask him to pass me his vest then promptly replace my hands with it. The musky smell is intoxicating, as I stand there with my chest now covered in his material'

Q2. How do I convey a flash back within a flash back?

Q3. Would whichever way I do write/tell the story affect the way I should deliver dialogue whether it be between just me and somebody, or between me and someone where Im telling them about a conversation and happening with another person?

Many thanks,


Yes, the way you write it effects it.

You will have to choose either remembering back and having flash backs- or in present tense and living it. Pick a side and go with it- you cannot have both.

Once you flash back- you can be (write) in the present tense of the past-  but have to return to the present of the now thinking back...

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Jannie Balliett


I am a published writer, Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing, specializing in novel writing, and creative writing. I can answer most any question concerning writing a book, plot and characterization, tighten the prose, and the editing process, and help advise with publishing and the requirements of obtaining a literary agent.


I'm a published writer, freelancer, and Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing for my two Online writer workshops.

Sisters In Crime Internet Chapter, The Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Brazos Writers Group.

Writers Post Journal magazine, May 2006 issue, Augusr 2006 issue, Nov/December 2006 issue and soon in 2008, On A Whim, flash fiction anthology, offered in Barnes & Nobles and Amazon.

Some college, creative writing, fiction writing

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I have numerous clients using my service through my editorial service and numerous members in my Online writer workshops.

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