ONLINE Emotional Stakes in Memoir – Finding the Heart of Your Story
Using excerpts from the Art of Memoir by Mary Karr, The Situation and the Story by Vivian Gornick, and other writers, we’ll examine the importance of overarching conflict in the memoir genre, its connection to theme, and explore ways to locate the forces that drive our protagonists and the internal and external conflicts that propel our stories.
The series will blend short readings and writing exercises, centered around the following questions:
- What is the inciting incident, or a key event that sets your story in motion?
- How can you identify a turning point, with emotional stakes for the protagonist?
- What does your protagonist learn by going on this journey of discovery, and how might you, as the writer, keep your reader engaged?
By the end of the workshop, students will have identified the primary overarching conflicts in their memoir or essay and will have the tools necessary to heighten the tension and primary conflicts in their work.
This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform.
Judah Leblang is a Boston-based writer, teacher, and storyteller. He has performed his one-man show, “It’s Now or Never. My Life in the Late Middle Ages” at community centres and Fringe Festivals in the US and Canada, including Calgary (Best of Fringe, 2019). He is the author of two memoirs, Finding My Place (Lake Effect Press, 2012) and Echoes of Jerry (Red Giant Books, 2019). His essays and commentaries have been broadcast on public radio stations throughout the US, and on several Canadian stations. He teaches creative nonfiction at Grubstreet writing centre in Boston.