Is My Story a Memoir or a Novel?

by B. Green

I am a 60 year old woman writing a story about tracking down my biological family as an adoptee. It basically contains the emotions etc from start to finish and trying to find the truth. Unfortunately in real experience I didn't find all the answers- so this part of the story will be fiction.

Can you tell me do I say this is a Novel (Because of the fiction part) or would it be classed as a 'Memoir'. Also do you think at 60 years old Agents etc will consider my story too old as although I only researched in the last 5years the story goes back to the 50's.

Thanks for your time and I look forward to your reply.


I suggest you present the book as a novel based on personal experience. This frees you up to fictionalize other parts that need to be shaped outside the limitations of "real life" to improve the narrative.

As long as the story is riveting, the time period won't matter. Agents and publishers are eager to find excellent stories. It is more important that the novel fit their narrative expectation and does not try to cover too much.

An experienced author or editor can advise if you have any doubts.

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