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Writing Lessons from Your Life in Memoir

Writing Lessons from Your Life in Memoir

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Writing Lessons from Your Life in Memoir

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  1. Writing Lessons from Your Lifein Memoir from Jump Start Your Memoir, a course with Deborah Wilbrink

  2. 3. STYLE COMPARISONTheme, Organization, & Titling • Instruction • Style Read Around in Groups • Style & Theme Discussion • Partnered Oral Memory with theme prompt • Brainstorm Themes • Pre-write, Write & Share • Technique: Organization Graphic Organizers • Optional Homework

  3. YOUR STORY: ELEMENTS • Setting: Where and When? • Character: Dialog and Action • Plot • Conflict • Moral • Theme • Plus Topics, Voice, Organization,Titles, and Resources

  4. Theme: the Subjecta recurring or identifying quality or idea • Life themes may be clearly stated: I serve my family; I inspire young people through teaching; I create art or music. • Themes may be about how we feel: I’m looking for love; I will show everyone I’m the best cook! • Themes can emphasize a part of your life, be the common thread: homes; cars; children; jobs.

  5. Organizing Your Memoir • Chronological: Key events in order from birth to present • Flashback: Start with a major event and then lead up to it and resolve. • Theme: Chronological with a specific focus. • Topical: Themed chapters such as Children, Career, Romance, Art, etc.

  6. FINDING THEMEGrouped Quick Read-Around • Select a Book & Examine It for 5 minutes. • Then complete the form: • Title, author • Theme – book’s subject • Organization – by time or by topic or both? • Title – how does the title relate to the theme? • Would you read this book? Why or why not? • Share your thoughts from the form • Form Groups and Choose a Book

  7. Exploring Theme, Organization,and Titles • Title, author • Theme – book’s subject? • Organization – by time or by topic or both? • Title – how does the title relate to the theme? • Would you read this book? Why or why not?

  8. Discussion • What do these books have in common? • What makes a specific book unique? • How will your memoir be part of a genre? • How will it be unique?

  9. Partnered Oral Memorywith Themes • Partnered Oral Memory • Draw a prompt and discuss • LONGEST HAIR GOES FIRST

  10. THEMES What subjects could be the main idea, the common thread, or the purpose of a memoir? BRAINSTORM

  11. Themes • Choose one of your stories. What themes does it bring to mind? • List at least 2 themes from the story. • Example • Choose one theme to use in another story. • Start your new story, using the common theme.

  12. Sharing Procedures • Volunteers Share. • If necessary, we will take turns. • Comments welcomed after each share. • Constructive, positive comments only.

  13. OPTIONAL HOMEWORK Try on Some Titles for Your Memoir, Chapters, or Vignettes What theme is emerging for your memoir?

  14. Writing from Your Life 5 NEXT CLASS is Wednesday PARK HERE See you then! Instructor: Deborah Wilbrink

  15. Writing from Your Life 6 Jump Start Your Memoir with the Osher Life Long Learning Institute Instructor: Deborah Wilbrink

  16. YOUR STORY: ELEMENTS • Setting: Where and When? • Character: Dialog and Action • Plot • Conflict • Moral (Lessons in Life) • Theme • Plus Topics, Voice, Style, Titles, and Resources

  17. STYLE : a distinctive and identifiable way of expression; a way of doing something.. • Voice – first person “I” “I” should sound like the person telling/writing • Tone – indicates the attitude or view of the writer • Following & not following rules • One’s cultural and educational setting – vocabulary & grammar • Choice • Editing • Proofreading

  18. Famous & Everyday Examples • Technique: How does the author convey the life lesson? • Tell it – if so, where? • Show it – how? • Characters state it • The reader draws a conclusion

  19. Oral Topic Generation Using Writing Prompts: Proverbs, Aphorisms and Morals Choose a prompt from the bag. Explain it to the group. Does any prompt remind you of a personal story? If so, write a note to yourself about the prompt and story.

  20. What are some Lessons learned in Life? (advice, morals, proverbs, aphorisms) BRAINSTORM

  21. Lessons in Life • List 3 short lessons in life or pieces of advice that you would like others to know. Choose 1. • Write about how you learned that lesson. Or give an example of it from someone’s experience whom you know. BRAINSTORM

  22. Sharing Procedures • Volunteers Share. • If necessary, we will take turns. • Comments welcomed after each share. • Constructive, positive comments only.

  23. OPTIONAL HOMEWORK • Think about a higher purpose for your work. How can your memoir be helpful to others? • What are some of the natural lessons of life that your memoir could teach?

  24. Topic Generation Sensory Input Photos and Objects Lists of Questions Writing Prompts Exercise: Choose a PLOT prompt from the bag. What story does it bring to mind for your memoir? If you have time, make some notes, outline with plot, or begin your story.

  25. Writing from Your Life 4 Wednesday AUGUST 7 PARK HERE See you then! Instructor: Deborah Wilbrink