How long does a memoir have to be?
There is no specific length. It can be as short as an article in the paper posted the days after one dies to a full length 100,000 plus novel or autobiography. It can focus on one event and make a great short story, or a period in ones life making a short story of around 3500 to 5000 words.
A novella is the next step up and covers a slightly longer or more in depth look at life with around 20,000 words. This gives the author room to expand the story and give it some substance while keeping it short enough to make it a doable project for most.
A short novel is around the 50,000 word range. This gives the author room to further explore life and to introduce other characters to the reader. Much more of a time period can be covered.
The full works of a full length novel can take a while to write and covers the complete story. The entire message the author wants to present can be covered. This takes commitment and time. Research can be time consuming but needed in such a work. A ghost writer will spend a lot of time working on this and is necessary in most cases. The bare minimum for such a project is around $50,000 with the average around $125,000.
Back to the shorter versions like the short story a persons life can be captured easily and affordable. Many people want their life to be remembered and there can be no better way than with a memoir, hopefully authored by the one the story is about, but it doesn't have to be. It could be told my a loving spouse or child in memory of the life they remember.
But, the purpose is to record a life and make it immortal so that life will not be forgotten. The length is totally up to the author.
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