Find Your Story, Write Your Memoir

Find Your Story, Write Your Memoir

by Lynn C. Miller, Lisa Lenard-Cook


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780299293147
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date: 03/08/2013
Edition description: 1
Pages: 146
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Lynn C. Miller is the author of the novels Death of a Department Chair and The Fool's Journey and coeditor of Voices Made Flesh: Performing Women's Autobiography. A playwright and solo performer, she is former professor of theater and dance as well as women's and gender studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Lisa Lenard-Cook is the PEN-shortlisted author of Dissonance, Coyote Morning, and The Mind of Your Story. She is a faculty member at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference and at the Narrative Arts Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Together, they cofounded ABQ Writers Co-op, a creative community for Southwest writers.

Table of Contents

1 The Occasion of the Telling: "It Begins Here because It's about This"
A Place to Stand
Is It an Autobiography, or Is It a Memoir?
It's about the Storyteller
Reliability and the Narrator
Telling the Truth in Memoir
The Occasion of the Telling and Organizing the Memoir
She Died, so I Remember
And Then, in an Instant, Everything Changed
Now and Then, Then and Now
Consequence and the Occasion of the Telling
Exercises: Now, You Begin
2 The Two Yous: Finding a Place to Stand
The Remembering Self
The Experiencing Self
The Dance of the Two Yous
The Power of Testifying
Taking Yourself by the Hand
Negotiating Duality
Sensory Cues as Keys to Memory
Using Language and Imagery to Move between the Two Yous
The Nature of Memory
Further Spotlight Exercises
3 Building a Narrative: Laying Down the Bones
Beginning Your Story
Catalysts and Conflicts
Mapping the Tension
Examples of Structures
Chronological Structure
Circular Structure
Associative Structure
Collage Structure
Parallel Structure
Locational Structure
Choosing a Structure
You and Your Audience
Creating the World of Your Story
Structure and Understanding
Additional Spotlight Exercises
4 Arranging the Scenes: Giving Them Muscle
Dramatic Structure
Ordering the Scene
Rising Action
Particularizing the Moment
Internal Action
External Action
The Emblematic Scene
Putting It All Together
Further Spotlight Exercises
5 Painting the Picture: Language and Setting
The Magic of Imagery
Using Figurative Language
Language and Sense of Place
Setting as Metaphor
Place as Time Period
Language as Action
Controlling Time
The Secrets of Subtext
6 Your Story, Your Voice: Make It Your Own
The First-Person Voice
Between Experience and Remembering
Beyond First Person
Your Two Voices
You, the Narrator
You, the Character
Voices of the Masters
"She Opened Herself Up a Worm Farm"
"The Fortuneteller Was Not Guilty"
"Reveal[ing] Those Demons That Obsess Him"
The Shadowy Personage Who Commits the Actual Writing
"The Capsules of Safety, and Freedom"
Your Story, Your Voice
You Are the Camera
Using What You Don't Know
7 Honoring the Memoir Process: Taking the Next Steps
Re-visioning Your Manuscript
Read It Aloud
Put It Away
Take It out of the Closet
An Editorial Checklist
The Occasion of the Telling
The Two Yous
Building a Narrative
Arranging the Scenes
Painting the Picture
Your Story, Your Voice
Honoring the Memoir Process
Other People, Other Rooms
Claiming Responsibility for Your Story
The Ethics of Guilt
What's Next?
Bringing Your Story into Public Space
Your Story, Your Book
Appendix: Spotlight Exercises by Chapter
BibliographyOther Suggested Memoirs

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