For the last two years, I’ve been teaching several different memoir classes with my colleague, Brooke Warner, in our Write Your Memoir in Six Months programs.
The Glass Castle will be the third class in our bestselling memoir series, following Wild and Eat, Pray, Love.
Tuesdays, April 22-May 13, 2014, from 4-5pm PT/7-8pm ET
To start, join us for our free webinar on April 15, looking at what made The Glass Castle strike such a nerve with readers everywhere. We will examine the universal themes, outside-the-box reasons why this book was a success, and the question of writing deep, dark truths, and how and why memoir that’s transformational touches readers at their core.
1-Month Intro Course
Class 1. April 22 Memory & Writing Dark Truths
• Writing scene as memories.
• How to write trauma, and through trauma and difficult memories.
• What it means to write dispassionately, and why it’s important.
• An exploration of truth and how the reader perceives the truth.
Class 2. April 29 Structure & Takeaway
• The difference between scene and vignette.
• How Jeannette Walls got away with writing a book of vignettes—the secret is in the narrative arc.
• How takeaway is handled through another person’s insights—in this case Jeannette’s mother
• The consequences of pulling the reader out of the fictive dream.
Class 3. May 6 Voice of Innocence vs. Voice of Experience
• How Jeannette Walls handles both voices.
• Showing the issues of the family through different narrative voices.
• “Showing” versus “telling,” and how it’s especially important when dealing with trauma and hard or negative memories.
• The power of showing through the child’s perspective—and how to make this work.
Class 4. May 13 Themes
• Why Jeannette Walls’s themes made her book a bestseller.
• The power of metaphor to drive a theme home.
• Why universal themes strike a nerve and how to pay attention to your themes.
• Why “through-threads” are part of the equation, and how to integrate through-threads into your own memoir.
Our spring 2013 class, “The Craft of Memoir,” was our most successful class yet. We are offering a sample here of Class #2 about SCENES & TRANSACTIONS. You can download it here, or you can buy the whole course.
DOWNLOAD OUR FREE CALL—SCENE & TRANSITION IN WILD
• Mapping your scenes through transitions.
• How to use transitions to keep your reader contained.
• Making use of line breaks.
• How scaffolding can help you better understand transitions.
The Craft of Memoir: Wild as a Guide to Becoming a Better Writer
Linda Joy and Brooke both fell in love with Cheryl Strayed’s Wild when we read it, and we immediately saw its value as a teaching tool for all of the skills the author brings to the memoir. Strayed uses what’s called a framed structure, meaning that she writes the story of her life, but uses her limited time on the Pacific Crest Trail as a means to contain her story. In this class we’ll showcase some of the things Strayed does brilliantly—structure, transitions, flashbacks vs. memory, and reflection—so that you can begin to use all of these skills in your own writing.
CHECK OUT OUR FULL COURSE—Write Your Memoir in Six Months. The new course starts in June, 2014. The goal is to help you get 60,000 words written in six months, and teach you the skills and offer the structure to complete a first draft of your memoir.