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

Session 4: Setting and action – Creating a sense of place and moving the story forward. We’ll discuss how to create tension, the secret you'll keep from your readers, and ways to put the reader in the midst of the story.

To register, complete the form below. Put "Spring 2018 Better than Fiction Workshop" in the message box. Add any other information you feel we need to know.

Sponsored by:

Rancho Mirage Public Library

Inlandia Institute

Sunacumen Press

Program details:

Registration and attendance are free

Sessions are held every Monday in March 2018  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:

Complete the form below, and indicate that you are registering for the Spring 2018 Better than Fiction workshop. We will confirm your registration within 48 hours.

Workshops are limited to 12 participants. We will keep a waiting list.

Deadline for registration: February 28, 2018. 

NOTICE:  This workshop is currently oversubscribed. Those accepted and those waitlisted for the March program will be notified shortly.  Program sponsors are considering adding more workshops in coming weeks.