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Writing Books/Writing a real life story


Hi Sue,
I am in the process of writing a real life story on anorexia. I am up to 15000 words and still going. I was wandering if you can advise me on how many words should my story be and if you could brief me on the writing technique? For example: should I be using ? and he said she said? I'm not sure how to edit it. I would be very grateful if you could shed some light on these questions for me.

Yours sincerely

Sue... (nice name...grin)

I assume this is a non-fiction book based either on your life or someone you know.  The question you have to answer is - why will anyone want to read it?  

If it is just a history of what you went through, maybe your family or friends might be interested, but if you want to reach a larger audience you need to think... what will the reader learn about anorexia that will help them?  

so..  you might want to add some coping suggestions, ways to conquer the problem... what you did...did it work, did it fail and why..

as to the she said/he said... that depends... if you are writing in the first person...there is no problem... if writing in third person, you can use the person's name or made-up name....

don't be too worried about the he said/she said thing.   Most of the time you don't even need them as the reader knows who is speaking.

as to editing, it is always wise to have another person, preferably a professional editor do the editing... we can too close to the story, the words and are often unable to see the "big" picture of the story.


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Sue Viders


I can answer various questions about how to create characters for fiction writers.


Two published books, Heroes and Heroines, and Ten Steps to Creating a Memorable Character, plus years of teaching both on-site and on-line

Several national magazines...had monthly columns


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