In this session, we will grapple with the challenges of presenting our personal story to an audience, and how to utilize the tools of fiction to bring life to our memoir.
We know how gripping our life story is, because we’ve lived it. How do we bring our readers into our world? How do we move from journaling to literature?
Knowing the plot and action of our story so intimately brings many benefits, but pacing, sensory detail, and balance of internal vs external action bring challenges to all writers.
In this session, we will grapple with the challenges of presenting our personal story to an audience, and how to utilize the tools of fiction to bring life to our memoir. We will discuss how much emotionality to sink into the work, how to create an immersive world for readers to lose themselves in, and how to employ pacing to draw your story out.
We will explore the differences between writing for ourselves and writing for others. We will think about how to fashion our humble stories in a style that is captivating and cinematic while remaining true. We will also discuss the particular challenges of writing memoir – vulnerability, revealing secrets, implicating others in our stories.
Michelle Tea is the author of over a dozen books for children, teens and adults, including the Lambda Award-winning memoir Valencia and the essay collection Against Memoir, winner of the PEN/America Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for The Art the Essay.