Narrator’s Voice for ME and HER

YIPPEE! I’ve discovered the missing ingredient for ME AND HER: a Memoir of Madness
Yes, I’m amping up ME AND HER to Publishing Perfection.

There’s a plethora of Memoirs written by famous people, crowding Book Shop shelves.

Memoirs are more competitive than ever.
For a non-famous person like me, to gain attention from a publisher, the writing in the Memoir must be of a higher literary standard than from rock stars and sporting heroes.

I’ve raised the bar on my Memoir several times before …
In July -August, the Society of Editors mentored me, spurning me on to improve and rewrite my memoir to deliver its message of Hope.

Recently a publisher friend advised I replace the flashbacks with personal details of my gradual decline and disintegration.
When she proposed that, I cried tears of joy and trepidation …
But she was right … That’s what the Reader wants.
Could I be brave enough to do that?


And that’s what I did.

Despite all these positive suggestions, feedback and rewrites, I held back from sending it out to a Publisher.
I had a nagging feeling one crucial ingredient was still missing.
Over the past weeks, I researched commonalities with award winning memoirs.
What did they all have in a common?

A Strong Narrators Voice!!

I’ve Boosted up that voice, the present ME, the voice of experience and reflection on the past.
The now recovered ME commentating on HER unique experiences.
This Narrators Voice acts as a guide, orientating and inviting the reader to each chapter, to make sense of what is happening. And the Narrator’s Voice  commentates on major turning points.

Check out the brand new opening of ME AND HER

“In May 2005, my mad half, Her was born.

Let me escort you through my personal narrative from when Her first emerged and took over my life. When Her watchers gathered forces to intervene …

The hot water flowed over me, soothing my skin, washing my anguish and tears down the drain. After a week tucked up  in the motel,  should I return home to Steve and the kids? To teaching?  I shivered … No, I can never return to school. Never.”

A special thanks to Joanna, Laura and Gabrielle for providing their fabulous feedback.

What do YOU think?
Is it stronger and punchier than the original?
Will it catch a publisher’s attention and imagination?

(This blog was edited by KT.)


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14 comments to Narrator’s Voice for ME and HER

  • A strong narrators voice is indeed important.
    Happy to be a reader for you if you are looking for specific feedback.

  • Susan

    Hi Karen, You’ve nailed it this time. Love the opening. Your narrator’s voice will be the magic ingredient.

  • Thanks so much Tabitha for the offer. I’ll keep that in mind. I’ll email you and see if we can work something out. Karen :))

  • Thanks Susan, glad you love my new opening with the narrator’s voice. Hope this is my final and last rewrite Cheers, Karen :))

  • Joanna Gaudry

    Great, Karen. Much better with the narrator’s voice. Glad you’ve gone with the stronger opening for Her too. You’re right on track now. Good luck! Joanna xx

  • Thanks Joanna for all your support and encouragement with “Me and Her”. Glad you like the narrator’s voice too. Now planing my next BIG step … Karen :))

  • Hi Karen.
    I can’t wait to read the story.
    I like the first line – very strong, but wonder if more mysterious if left out next paragraph.
    Then zoom into the narrative.
    I wonder if the anguish was/could be washed down the drain. Wouldn’t it be more the narrator wished it could be? Also want to see her conflicts. e.g. My whole brain chants, “I can never return to school.” I want to feel more how the narrator feels.


  • Thanks Alison for your feedback. Today I’ll carefully consider your suggestion of the narrator to the shower scene. The opening is the hardest to write of all. Almost everyone who’s given me feedback, has a different opinion on how to write it. But I know the Narrator’s Voice is here to stay, speaking out at the beginning and end of chapters and at major turning points … Karen :))

  • Steph L

    I agree with Alison about ditching the 2nd paragraph. And I think the word ‘journey’ is being done to death in all formats. I’m sorry I didn’t win, but the journey was great. I got evicted, but the journey was worthwile…..argh.

    just my reader’s, non-writer 5 cents worth. BUT I can’t wait to read the whole thing.

    wishing you the best as always


  • Thanks Steph for your five cents worth. I’ll keep all that in mind as I continue to tweak the opening. I’m sure I’ll be writing the start many times again until I get it right. Karen :))

  • jo

    I would really like to read more written by you,
    where do i find your work pls ?
    thanks ,
    keep up spreading the message 🙂

  • Thanks Jo for following me to my website. If you go to Categories, click onto Speaking Out on Bipolar. Scroll down and you’ll find Beyond Blue and Opening page …Me and Her. Plus interviews too. I really appreciate your support and encouragement … Karen :))

  • Lexie Mitchell

    This reads really well, Karen. I’m glad you changed the line about not going back to school. The first one was bland but now it makes a great ending to the paragraph. The reader will want to know more, as I do.

  • Thanks Lexie for returning to this post I put up a few weeks ago. Glad you like this new version. I’ve tweaked it further since then, raising the stakes higher. I know you’ll love it even more … Karen :))

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