STRUCTURING THE NARRATIVE OF YOUR MEMOIR WITH CONFIDENCE by Dorit Sasson
September 2, 2020
November 4, 2020
DURATION: 5 weeks
LOCATION: We’ll be using Slack, a one-stop work hub for super easy interaction and ease in giving each other feedback.
FEEDBACK: You’ll be getting feedback from both your peers and your instructor.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Memoirs often travel in and out of time. A scene that comes alive in your head might struggle chronologically on the page. Narrative structure is a critical aspect for memoirists to figure out in relation to the sequence of life events so that your readers can follow your progression as a character and understand the storyline.
Structuring Your Memoir with Confidence is an intensive hands-on, visually guided five-week class that covers the ins and outs about how to keep track of narrative structure in memoir, so you’ll feel more confident in your narration. By the end of this class, you’ll walk away with a greater understanding of structure in memoir along with a first draft of table of contents and timeline of turning point moments.
At the end of five weeks, if you’ve done the revisions, you’ll feel confident about pulling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty.
Note: Class sessions will be in the form of handouts and powerpoints on the easy to understand Slack work platform. Each week students will submit their assignments, participate in discussions and receive student and instructor feedback.
Before this class, I wasn’t sure how to navigate the deeper and complex territory of my memoir. With Dorit’s guidance, I was able to dig into the entangled world of emotions and identify the larger meaning behind them. By extricating the important emotional elements in each scene, my story has become richer and embedded with the sustenance that make stories come to life. This class is definitely worthwhile for anyone feeling stuck or needing to grow their memoir writing. ~ Barbie Beaton (previous WOW memoir student)
When I started this class, I had been working with an editor to get my manuscript in shape to send it out to an agent or publisher. One of the major lessons I learned was that I needed to have a theme. Dorit helped me to understand that getting the reader to care was an important part of the journey. She elaborated on what I knew of reflections and takeaways in the manuscript. I was confused about how often reflections should be used and she helped me to understand their role for both the reader and the writer. ~ Amanda Noble (previous WOW memoir student)
I hired Dorit to edit my second memoir for story structure, readability, and clarity of the narrative arc. I knew my story was flawed in terms of structure and delivery and was looking for a substantive, honest review by an objective professional whose work I admire. As an author of one award-winning memoir and one pending publication, Dorit has a solid grasp of the art and craft of memoir writing. She provided me with insightful and substantive feedback which forced me to dig deeper into my narrative, round out my characters and gain clarity on my theme/arc. Her comments were constructive, informative and clear. As a result, I feel inspired to work within her guidelines and feel that her review will help me take my story to the next level. I highly recommend Dorit Sasson as a professional editor. She is credible and constructive, balancing posiitve feedback with areas that need more work. And perhaps, most important, I trusted her with my story and feel I have given it the best possible chance to succeed. ~ Kathy Pooler, author of Ever Faithful to His Lead
Dorit Sasson joined our editorial team in 2018 as a nonfiction and memoir specialist and has been a tremendous help to our authors. She has guided them in developing their ideas and stories and honing them until they have a finished book they can feel confident publishing. Dorit is a smart and compassionate editor, and will do wonders with your book! ~ Naomi Kim Eagleson, founder of The Artful Editor
I was getting my manuscript ready for my publisher, and knew it was time to create a marketing plan, and knew that blogging a book was going to be part of the process and voila, “Dorit’s Blog Your Fiction or Non-fiction Book and Reach Your Target Readers” appeared in my email inbox. I wanted to figure out how to use my current Journal Writing Power blog in building my book reader community. I wanted to learn more about how to maximize the blogging process to build my platform and increase book sales. I wanted to learn how to do more than blog chapters of my book. I got specifics on how to pull themes and details from my book and get them into keyword-friendly, niche reader-friendly blog posts. I got details on what elements to include in successful blog posts. I’m putting together a Blog My Book plan and schedule which includes outlining topic posts list that I came up with in class, doing guest post blog opportunities research and rereading my class lessons for additional ideas and pearls of wisdom. ~ Mari McCarthy of Create Write Now
WEEKS AT A GLANCE:
Week 1: The Ins and outs of Structure in Memoir
Your first-week reading assignment focuses on how turning points of your life lend themselves to your timeline and show your hero’s journey. We’ll discuss the basics of structure and why it is so important.
Assignment: Your first assignment will include an inventory of turning points you have (“cliff notes version”) to give you a sense of what your initial structure might look like. You’ll get feedback on your defining moments and your narrative arc map.
Week 2: Understanding Types of Structure in Memoir
This week’s lecture will fine-tune your eye for structure and give an overview of the different kinds of structures including the linear, braided, associative, frame and circular structures. We’ll look at sample themes of winning memoirs with supporting turning points.
Assignment: For this week’s assignment, you’ll begin to identify the kind of structure that suits your memoir and get feedback and instruction how to know whether your memoir fits into one of the 5 traditional story arcs and what you can do to adjust your narrative arc.
Week 3: Tools that Support Structure
This week’s hands-on lecture focuses on the visual tools including color-coding techniques for mapping timelines and organizing narrative arcs. These important tools will help you stay organized around craft, plot and think through your reflections/takeaways.
Assignment: For this week’s assignment, you’ll get customized feedback on your work-in-progress where you’ll submit a table of contents and chapter titles and the visual timeline of your mapped turning points.
Week 4: Showing Character Growth with “Then” and “Now” Narrators
This lecture and assignment focus on what it means to move through narrative time through the voices of innocence (then) and experience (now) as a way to show character growth. We’ll look at sample scenes that manipulate this dynamic and you’ll begin to pinpoint earlier and later moments of this scene using these techniques so your readers will not be left astray. Customized feedback is designed to help you understand your progression as a character as well as the storyline.
Assignment: For this week’s feedback, you’ll outline and submit a sample scene that shows this character growth in action.
Week 5: Putting It All Together and Next Steps
As you travel with your protagonist on the journey of self-discovery, your narrative needs to show an arc of character transformation. For our final wrap-up lesson, we’ll look at narrative drive, time signals, theme and what you can do to ensure your narrative arc will hold itself together. We’ll apply these strategies to a sample scene using various checklists for our final assignment.
Materials needed: The instructor will post each of the 5 weeks’ lessons with exercises at the opening of each week, so you can work on generating that writing on your own time and pace during the week. She will respond to posted work within 24 – 48 hours so the writer can get started on revising. Revisions can be posted at any time during our five weeks together.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Dorit Sasson is the founder of the Giving Voice to Your Courage website and global radio show. Her mission is to help authors and entrepreneurs give voice to their stories and the powerful messages that lie within their book by blogging as an engaging way to build their platforms. As a memoirist, blogger and copywriter, Dorit models vulnerability and authenticity that help break down barriers and allow others to weave their stories with content. Dorit is a regular contributor to the The Huffington Post. Her cultural memoir, Accidental Solder: What My Service in the Israel Defense Forces Taught Me about Faith, Courage and Love is a heroine’s journey of how Dorit was able to find her own voice in a foreign, militaristic society. Her new upcoming memoir, Sand and Steel: A Memoir of Longing and Finding Home, explores the idea of transforming our longing into belonging.
COST: $225, which includes weekly assignments and individual feedback from the instructor.
BUY NOW: Structuring the Narrative of Your Memoir with Confidence, by Dorit Sasson (5 weeks, starting 9/2/2020) Limit: 8 students. Early registration is recommended.
For Class Session Starting 9/2/2020
BUY NOW: Structuring the Narrative of Your Memoir with Confidence, by Dorit Sasson (5 weeks, starting 11/4/2020) Limit: 8 students. Early registration is recommended.
For Class Session Starting 11/4/2020
Additional Testimonials for Dorit Sasson:
The Blog Your Memoir class was both informational and inspirational. The tips were great for the practical side of things and helped generate ideas for topics to blog about. I also like your idea of sharing your courage and the approach from working with your passion and the rest will follow. ~ Maureen Hinds, MFA
I am a very low-tech person having grown up before the age of IT and computer dependence. As a writer and artist I needed to expand my skills and learn how to enhance my blog and my online presence. Dorit’s class was easy to follow and shared lots of information that I could use in expanding my platform. I learned how to write a meaningful blog post with enhanced keywords and how to be sure my blog was being seen by as wide an audience as possible. Her instructions are clear and she was always quick to respond with answers to my questions. Anyone looking to extend their online reach should take this course. ~ Renee Cassese
I was not comfortable blogging. That may be an understatement. It was an experience I agonized over and I would have preferred to have a root canal. As a result of Dorit’s coaching, I learned the differences between traditional journalling and blogging. I am more focused on refining the key words that will brand my blog to my book. Now blogging comes more naturally. I am brave enough to post my blogs and feel a sense of accomplishment when I do so. Many people have liked my blog posts, I have gotten comments as well as new followers. ~ Martha Grahm-Waldon, author of Nothing Like Normal
Before taking Dorit’s program, I used to struggle with what story or blog post to share as well as how and where I would share it. It wasn’t clear to me exactly what I wanted to communicate. I knew my listeners/readers would benefit from my personal story so they could connect with me and get how I would help them. I simply didn’t know which story! So I didn’t blog anything. I felt blogging my book was more of a chore than a labor of love. I lacked confidence in how I was communicating and felt I couldn't engage my target audience.
While listening to Dorit about how to blog my book, I began to unravel where my story would be of most value and what parts of the book to blog. I became inspired by blogging my book without having to wait until the book was published! I am now feeling more optimistic and confident about how to connect with my target audience as well as the difference my book content and story can make to those who read it. I have an increased awareness of how to blog my book. I’m so grateful Dorit created this program as it has been a tremendous help to get me unstuck and blogging again. Thank you, Dorit! ~ Maeve Crawford, The Soul Mate Catalyst
Notes: Upon successful completion of payment, your name, email address, and contact info will be submitted to your instructor.
Questions? Email Marcia & Angela at:
Click to View Full List of Classes