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.
Rancho Mirage Public Library
Registration and attendance are free
Sessions will be held Monday, April 9, 16, 23, and 30 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
NOTICE: This workshop is currently full. Those accepted and those waitlisted for the April program will be notified shortly if they have been accepted for the April. Program sponsors are considering adding more workshops in the fall.