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Old Study

MEMOIR: THE STORY OF YOUR LIFE

 

‘I want to write my life story’

 

Course: Memoir - the story of your life

Format: one-to-one via email (see group coaching for Cape Town courses)

Duration: six modules over six weeks

Course fee: R3 000

Suitable for: Writers who have completed the Introduction to Creative Writing course and who are ready to tackle a memoir, travelogue or excerpt from their personal story.

Aim: To help writers select and structure material into manageable sections, choose a framework and begin the process of documenting their memories.


Overview: Everyone has a story worth telling, but deciding on what to include and what to leave out can be daunting. In these sessions you will create a time line of your life or the particular period you want to write about, identify major sections and start to group material into categories or chapters.

What do you get? Each week you will be emailed a document containing notes, an exercise or questions, and a short assignment designed to explore a particular aspect of memoir writing, for which you will receive detailed written feedback.

How does it work? The first module will be delivered on receipt of payment for the number of modules you have selected. When the first assignment is submitted I will return the feedback within three days, along with the next module. Each subsequent module will be emailed as the previous module’s assignment is received.

How much time do you need to set aside for this course? Three or four hours a week to reflect on the questions and complete the writing assignment, although ultimately you will need to devote many hours to writing you memoir, which is a long, slow and fulfilling process.

Course outline:

Module 1: Memoir styles and options, the difference between memoir and autobiography, preparing the ground, choosing a frame and making a time line.

Module 2: Where do you come from? Who is your tribe? What time are you living in? Characters and the back story.

Module 3: Writing tips, starting small, settings and descriptions, writing about home.

Module 4: Rituals and routines: the details of everyday life that flesh out the story.

Module 5: Your writing process. Turning points, challenges, choices and consequences.

Module 6: The power of story, looking back, leaving a record, re-framing and moving on.