• AUGUST 17-20, 2023


Memoir as Detective Novel

Plot isn't the only way to create narrative momentum in memoir. Sometimes the most interesting thing about a personal narrative isn't what happened, and then what happened next, and then what happened next—but what we have to say about what happened, and how our perspective on a formative experience can shift and change over time. In this session, we'll talk about a form I call “memoir as detective novel,” where the narrative is formed around the author’s attempts to understand their own experience—with readers following along on a search for meaning, clarity, or closure. We'll focus on how your perspective changes over time (and how to prompt perspective shifts through research and metaphor), and discuss this internal arc as a potential alternative (or complement) to external plot. There will be writing exercises to begin excavating this alternative narrative through-line in your story, writing into mystery as opposed to relying so heavily on the chronological order of events to create narrative momentum. 

Difficulty level: all_levels


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