Storytelling Techniques for Memoir
August 14, 2020
11 AM PDT | 12 PM MDT | 1 PM CDT | 2 PM EDT
In the oral tradition, the storyteller is the narrator for the story, omniscient, the one who interprets the characters, emotions, and meaning, and who frames the story. We will explore how to use this objective point of view in memoir, and talk about how to develop voice in writing memoir through the use of storytelling techniques.
An engaging voice in personal narrative is vital, and makes the difference between a flat exposition to a story that leaps off the page and grabs readers’ attention. In your memoir, you are both the teller and a character in your life story. We will discuss and demonstrate storytelling strategies to frame narrative scenes and infuse your work with a compelling voice.
You can expect to participate in a writing exercise with a prompt, and come away with an appreciation of the modern oral tradition and how it can inform your memoir.
We will discuss:
- How telling family stories are shared folklore, the “we” stories known by many, told informally and on special occasions
- A short example of a family folklore tale, “Katie F.”
- How defining stories can express our unique identity
- A short example of a defining story, “A Kiss Goodbye, and Hello”
- How to create effective scenes with a storyboard
- How to use recordings and playback to develop voice
- Choose one of two prompts for story writing (family or defining)
- Optional sharing of a few stories, noticing voice, and the role of narrator
KATE FARRELL is a storyteller, author, librarian, founded the Word Weaving Storytelling Project and published numerous educational materials on storytelling. She has contributed to and edited award-winning anthologies of personal narrative. Farrell recently completed a how-to guide on the art of storytelling for adults, Story Power: Secrets to Creating, Crafting, and Telling Memorial Stories, released by Mango Publishing June 2020. Farrell is past president of Women’s National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter. Please visit: https://katefarrell.net/
Upcoming workshops include Story Power: The Storytelling Revolution from Traditional to Personal. A Virtual Workshop in the Art of Storytelling
Saturday, August 22, 2020 – 10:00am to 11:30am
Produced by Mechanics Institute in partnership with the San Francisco Writers Conference
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