As I headed into the 3-day weekend finding time to write and read were on my wishlist. While I was able to do both I also took the time to learn more about memoir writing. I made sure the family was busy and took advantage of the local libary session titled, "Memoir Writing Workshop: Turning Points
Our local library offered a session on writing memoir featuring Author, Novella Carpenter. This was my first introduction to her earthy and laid back style both in person and in her writing style.
Her session focused on key elements a memoir writer should include in their writing.
Novella shared a handout and shared her "5 Rules of Today's Memoir Writer":
#1 – Open with a very engaging scene
#2 – Use elements of the novel: dialogue, scene, interior monologue (your voice)
#3 – Frame the memoir during a turning point, or transition time for the narrator
#4 – Family members, friends, ect are turned into characters
#5 – Ends with a satisfying narrative arc
As the 12 or so attendees listened intently to every tip, trick, and insider nugget we left feeling ready to continue crafting our stories into delicious memoir.
Along with Novella's recent novel, "Farm City", we were given a great list of other memoir writers to read and study. Have you read any of these authors? I definately have added these to my read list.
Novella's favorite memoirs
The Glass Castle, Jeanette Wells
The Liar's Club, Mary Karr
The Unprejudiced Palate, Angelo Pelligrini
This Boy's Life, Tobias Wolff
Open, Andre Agassi
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs, Anne Lamont
Books on Writing Memoir
The Art of Memoir, Mary Karr
Naked, Drunk, and Writing, Adair Lara (she also teaches memoir writing classes in San Francisco)
Exploring memoir writing in this way was very informative. I look forward to trying out elements of the tips Novella shared.
The Union City, CA library also wrote a summary of this event. Follow the Union City, CA blog for more details on other workshops like this.