Better Than Fiction:

Using fictional writing techniques to bring your memoir to life

Memoirs don’t have to read like diaries or timelines. The best ones are written like good novels—with the same literary tools that make great romances and mysteries come alive.

These workshops will help memoir writers turn their memories into compelling stories, with the same dialogue, description, pacing and narration that make fictional protagonists jump off the page.

The four workshops will cover

Session 1: Introduction – What is memoir and how to choose your story. We’ll explore some best-selling memoirs. You'll go home with an assignment to start shaping our story.

Session 2: Structure and Story – Developing your theme, plot and narrative arc. We’ll share our stories with each other and discuss several alternative structures for organizing the narrative based on good fiction-writing techniques.

Session 3: Scenes as the Building Blocks of Memoir -We'll discuss how to build your memoir with action, dialogue, summary narrative, and internal monologue. We'll study the basics for capturing speech and the various techniques for building character and scenes. 

Session 4: Point of view and Voice - As narrator of your memoir, you have control over the voice you use to tell your story. We'll discuss how to work with the limits of the first-person POV. We'll close with a discussion about your publishing options.

Sponsored by:

Rancho Mirage Public Library

Inlandia Institute

Sunacumen Press

Program details:

Registration and attendance are free.

The next sessions will be held on Mondays, October 1, 8, 15 and 22 from 10 a.m. to noon

Rancho Mirage Public Library conference room

Bring a laptop or notebook to take notes and participate in class exercises

To register for the fall workshop, complete the contact form below.  These workshops fill quickly, and those on the waiting list from last April's sessions will be given the first opportunity to join the workshop.