The Memoir, the Relatives: should you Botox your book?

So here it is, two days to Christmas, and the Memoir project remains incomplete. But an end is in sight.

All the issues raised in The Write Nook post on “Writing Your Own Story” are so true. Thanks so much for that.

https://writenook.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/writing-your-own-story/

So Volume 1, Regret Horizons, is almost ready. A cover design is underway with final elements to be provided by Keith. The text is written. After going through the issues haunting Knausgaard (thanks, Uncle Gunnar, for the vital prompt about defamation, invasion of privacy, legal questions) all the most contentious parts have been pared down to the very barest minimum, with only tiny hints instead of full-bodied assertion. Wimpy I know. “Tell your own truth” says my counsellor and I know where he’s coming from and I want to, but I can’t, at least not in this book.

What will happen to my book if I Botox it?

Thought I had covered all bases although there were still a few itchy spots remaining. But I need them in the story for it to make sense for me. I can’t eliminate everything, like some kind of textual Botox. Now it’s time to give it to the rellos to make sure they agree to having their names used, or to indicate otherwise.  Only tried it with one so far and pages of comment about “what really happened” have come back. Needless to say it’s not my version. Now I have to decide how to handle this.

The others will probably have their own comments to throw into the mix. One at least is likely to be even more what – concerned? Outraged? What to do? I understand exactly how Knausgaard felt when he tried to reconcile his recollections of cleaning up his father’s trashed house full of filth and empty bottles with Uncle Gunnar’s totally different version. I’ll probably have to do what he did, and write about that too. Oh god, so the book isn’t finished after all!

The past is never dead. It’s not even past. ~William Faulkner

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