The Nuts and Bolts of Memoir
This comprehensive, ten-week course introduces students to the fundamentals of personal narrative and the craft of shaping life experience into vivid, unforgettable stories.
You will be guided through the memoir-writing process step by step, exploring the questions we all face on this path of creative self-discovery. How do we frame our life stories? Where do we begin and where do we end? What emotional or spiritual quest drives your memoir? What is your responsibility to living persons when telling a personal story? And, what is the meaning of your story, and how do you elevate subjective experience to encompass the mythic and universal?
“Mark has a laser beam like ability to identify the core of what you’re writing about, or where you’re writing from, and shines his light to encourage you to go there. He inspires you to go beneath the surface and tell the truest story that your heart yearns to express.”
Designed for writers of all levels, this popular course has proved highly effective in helping aspiring memoirists achieve their creative goals, whether for publication or legacy. Exploring your personal story – peeling back the layers to unveil the truth – is also a path to self-discovery; providing insight that proves beneficial off the page as well as on it. In my experience, when you tell the truth, your story changes. And when your story changes, your life is transformed.
Things You Will Learn in The Nuts and Bolts of Memoir
~How to utilize the language of emotion
~How to identify the central question driving your story
~How to distinguish situation from story
~Why fearlessness, shamelessness, and recklessness are critical to writing a first draft
~How to write about people in our lives without violating their anonymity
~How to organize the moments of our story into a coherent whole
~How even painful experience can be illuminated and redeemed through memoir
“Mark is an insightful teacher whose skill with the written word is outmatched only by his skill with the human soul. I did not know him before this course, but the feedback I received was more like something from an old dear friend – clear, kind and direct. His ability to see into the heart of the story and the emotions behind it were uncanny I could not recommend it highly enough.”
In Lesson One, “Creating the I,” you will learn how to turn yourself into a protagonist on the page.
In Lesson Two, “Creating a Frame,” you will learn to sketch the arc of your memoir, where it begins and where it ends.
In Lesson Three, you will focus on “Finding the Moments” in your story, the essential building blocks of the narrative.
In Lesson Four, you will practice “Creating a Scene” that is both powerful and cohesive.
In Lesson Five, you come to the challenge of “Creating Dialogue” in real-life writing.
In Lesson Six, “Creating Momentum” teaches you to keep your reader turning pages.
In Lesson Seven, “Real Life Characters,” you explore how to write about people you know without trespassing boundaries.
In Lesson Eight, you will explore “The Engine of Desire” – the question that is driving your memoir The why behind your desire to tell this story.
In Lesson Nine, you will investigate the “The Power of Perception” as a memoirist’s primary requirement for recreating lived experience in writing (how you see is how you write).
Finally, in Lesson Ten, Mark explains “Why Intention Matters,” strengthening your experience of writing memoir, and focusing on what you want to create