Memoir Writing II - Book — Syllabus

This course is for writers working on book-length memoirs. (All Level II students should start with Memoir II-a. Then, if you are writing a book and wish to continue with your study, you would follow it with Memoir II-Book. Offered only online.)

New York City/Zoom classes

The syllabus varies from teacher to teacher, term to term. But many of the topics will be similar to those covered in the Online classes.

Online classes

Who Cares?: How to make readers care about your story. Finding the right focus. Ways to entice—literary finesse, time/place, wisdom, humor. Finding the universality.

The Journey: Finding the journey of the protagonist (you). Protagonist's desire. The arc of the protagonist. The climax.

Designing Your Life: Structuring the book. Chronological structure. Collage structure. Organizing principle structure. How to find the right design.

Playing With Time: Finding the right time frame. Flashbacks. Flash-forwards. Fluidity.

The Narrator: Importance of the narrator. Exploration of voice. The youthful voice. Action and reflection. Non-first person strategies. Tense. Eccentricities.

The Cast: Choosing the cast (who will appear). Bringing characters to life. Relationships. The tribute memoir.

Family Memoir: Exploration of the family memoir. Bringing broad appeal. The role of family. The role of you. Strategies for structuring the family memoir.

Tributaries: Subplots. Background information. Specialized information. Managing the tributaries.

Plumbing the Depths: Delving into memories. Delving into pain. Dealing with the issue of hurting people in your memoir.

Publishing a Book: When you need a book proposal. Basics of the book proposal. Soliciting agents and publishing house. Tips for maximizing your chance of publishing a book.

Note: Content may vary among individual classes.