Wednesdays, 4 PM PST/7 PM EST
If you want to write a memoir, but don’t know where to begin, join us for this brief course to get you started. In this four-week course, Linda Joy Myers and Brooke Warner will help you identify how to start and what kind of memoir you are writing. We’ll look at your stuck places and offer some skills to achieve your dream of completing your memoir.
Beginnings are important. How do we start with this amazing journey called a memoir? Your life is complex, there are so many stories. Luckily, there are basic ideas, tools, and concepts that help you get started and we will begin with a few of those.
• Understanding your theme, message, and scope.
• How to manage overwhelm when your story seems too big.
• Types and subgenres of memoir—and why you want to know what you’re writing.
• Figuring out your turning points, timeline, and action moments to give you a launching off point.
Handout: turning point exercise, turning point article, memoir topics.
Class 2. September 12
As you move through your ideas, topics, timeline, and turning points, you may hear that pesky inner critic niggling at you, or you may wonder about how good your memory is, or wonder how your family will feel about your truths. Structure and goals help when the process gets murky, so we are going to head toward those tools by the end of this session.
• Addressing what’s holding you back and giving yourself permission to just write.
• Questions of truth and memory, and how to keep writing despite what you don’t know or don’t remember.
• Sketching out your outline to give you motivation and momentum.
• The importance of themes and takeaways—why your memoir can’t just be the story of your life.
Handouts: inner critic; themes and takeaways
Class 3. September 19
Getting your memoir off the ground means writing whatever you can to get started, and also planning your writing life. Planning and structure help to balance out the overwhelm of too many ideas and stories, or too many worries. There are so many great stories you have to tell.
• Freewriting—aka downloading—and its value for working through stuck places.
• Where to begin? Or how to manage what you already have if you’re drowning in notes, partial drafts, and half-written chapters.
• The value of process—scheduling your writing and having a writing plan.
• The power of the narrative voice and how you can harness it.
Handouts: Freewriting; narrative voice.
Course 4. September 26
Craft—you hear that term a lot but it is so great to know that there are tools and tricks of the trade that can be learned that help you write a great story. We will discuss some of these today so you can keep writing your memoir.
• Basic craft of memoir—narration, scenes, and plot.
• Why being relatable and transparent in your writing will gain you more readers.
• How to use through-threads in memoir and why they help you create a cohesive and complete memoir.
Handouts: plot and three acts
For more information or to sign up:
I’m interested in the course mentioned.
I have written one 40,000 word memoir but have removed it from existence – it was more for me to sort out some issues and just see if I could go the distance.
I’m currently in the early stages of a second one – but this one I intend to submit down the track. I’ve studied Life Writing at Grad school & taught it at community college, BUT I am looking for something less academic and more focused on flow of work. Is this where this course is heading?
Look forward to hearing from you,