Description of Class
If you are writing a memoir or a personal essay, you are relying on the truth as you remember it. But what is the definition of truth when the memories may be many years – even decades – old? How accurate do we need to be? What is close enough?
Like fiction writers who may not know their story’s end but allow the characters to steer it, the nonfiction writer knows the story arc but may not recall every detail, setting or piece of dialogue. We’ll talk about ways to write personal narrative that stays true to the story without knowing.
In this single-session class, we’ll look at what goes into constructing scenes, the decisions about details, ways to handle time and dialogue that help get as close to the truth of a story’s characters and themes without “making things up.” Ellen Blum Barish will guide participants through these elements with examples from published personal essays and memoir as well as from her own essays and memoir. This class will include short readings, discussion, and Q & A.