October Roundtable Discussion – FREE to All

betty-hafner

What I Learned from Screenwriters about Structuring a Memoir

Betty Hafner

October 6, 2016

4 PM PDT  5 PM MDT  6 PM CDT  7 PM EDT

 

not-exactly-loveYou may have heard the question, “What’s the better training for writers—an MFA or New York?”  Well, neither for me. When I started writing in earnest, I chose to stay put and learn everything I could from books, workshops, writers’ conferences, webinars and wherever Google sent me. This is all to say I’ve had no formal training in writing.

So after two years of writing about my marriage in the ’70s, I was stuck. I had simply a collection of chapters full of drama, because those were the situations I was able to remember most clearly. It didn’t feel like it was becoming a book though. That’s when the screenwriters came in, not literally, of course. I just dug into materials where various film consultants and writers discussed how to shape a story into one that would really mean something to an audience or readers. It was a significant turning point for me, and I’d like to share some of those lessons with you.

Among other things, we’ll discuss:

  • Pulling together a collection of related personal essays into a memoir.
  • Using the classic three-act dramatic structure to help shape your memoir.
  • Seeing the story you’re telling about your life as a journey.
  • The importance of scenes in memoirs.
  • What makes the setup in your story so important.

 

Biography

betty-hafnerBetty Hafner lives outside Washington, DC and has written a popular monthly book review column for twelve years in The Town Courier newspapers in Montgomery County, MD. With a M. S. in counseling she was a teacher and counselor in high schools and colleges for twenty-five years. She continues to lead workshops, give talks and facilitate groups. She wrote two practical career-change books that stemmed from her workshops―Where Do I Go From Here? (Lippincott) and The Nurse’s Guide to Starting a Small Business (Pilot Books). Always ready to converse, she also loves telling stories through her drawings and photographs.

 

Learn more at http://www.bettyhafner.com/book/

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What Made Susannah Cahalan’s Brain on Fire a Best-selling Memoir?

Brain on Fire

Brain on FireJoin us for our new best-seller short course:

How to Write a Memoir That Changes Lives

Class dates: Sept 19, Sept 26, Oct 3, Oct 10
Mondays at 4pm PT | 5pm MT | 6pm CT | 7pm ET

All classes are one hour and we record all sessions so that you can watch the recordings if you have to miss a class.

Brain on Fire (soon to be a major motion picture) set us on fire! This fast-paced memoir has a lot to teach memoirists about how to write what you don’t remember; the value of advocating for others through your writing; and the power memoir holds to truly change lives.

Cahalan brilliantly captures her month of madness, despite the fact that she recalls almost nothing of what happened during that time. She uses effective techniques, like dropping into the point of view of others, incorporating records and journals, and excerpting bits from video sessions. In pushing the boundaries of memoir through the use of multiple “I” narrative voices,  Brain on Fire is a valuable teaching tool to aspiring memoirists who want to better grasp the power of transformation—and how to bring your reader all the way into the story as you face your own struggles and setbacks, and areas of growth and transformation.

Class 1 (Sept 19). Writing What You Don’t Remember

  • Techniques for writing what you remember
  • How to free yourself from the burden of not needing to remember everything
  • Tools for exploring the depths of your remembered and unremembered experiences
  • Unconventional storytelling for the memory-challenged

Class 2 (Sept 26). Characterization of the Self in the Narrative Arc

  • How to track your narrative “I” and how you can learn from Susannah’s many “I’s”—her normal self; her diagnosed self; her ill self; her “guinea pig” self; her recovering self; her advocate self
  • How to characterize yourself and others in unreliable narratives
  • The importance of pacing as it pertains to characterization and character development in the storyline
  • Distinguishing between the real, the unreal, and the possibly real and why to make sure your readers know what’s what.

Class 3 (October 3). The Power of Showing

  • How to write descriptions that show
  • Varying up tenses as a showing technique
  • How to make your reader feel what you feel by tracking the intensity, discomfort, physical reactions, and other visceral experiences in Brain on Fire
  • The importance of showing broader cultural issues in your era and/or as pertinent to your particular issue

Class 4 (October 10). Takeaways and Other Devices to Create Meaning

  • How and why to use journalist techniques to create takeaway
  • An exploration of different types of takeaways
  • The power of unconventional narrative techniques and how and why they create meaning
  • How to get at the heart of what matters in your own memoir to write a book that changes lives

Sign up here.

How to Write a Memoir That Changes Lives – Free Webinar September 12, 2016

Brain on Fire webinar

Brain on Fire webinarLinda Joy Myers and Brooke Warner are back with the next installment of their best-selling memoir series, with a free offering.

FREE WEBINAR:

Join us on Monday, September 12, for “What Made Susannah Cahalan’s Brain on Fire a Best-selling Memoir?”

Monday, September 12

4pm PT | 5pm MT | 6pm CT | 7pm ET

Come discover how to crack the code and create a memoir that has the capacity to change lives with this free webinar exploring the New York Times bestseller Brain on Fire, by Susannah Cahalan.

We chose Brain on Fire for our next installment in our bestseller series because it’s a fast-paced memoir that has a lot to teach memoirists about how to write what you don’t remember; the value of advocating for others through your writing; and the power memoir holds to truly change lives.

Susannah Cahalan brilliantly captures her month of madness, despite the fact that she recalls almost nothing of what happened during that time. She uses effective techniques, like dropping into the point of view of others, incorporating records and journals, and excerpting bits from video sessions.

In pushing the boundaries of memoir through the use of multiple “I” narrative voices, Brain on Fire is a valuable teaching tool to aspiring memoirists who want to better grasp the power of transformation.

In this FREE webinar, Brooke and Linda Joy will explore:

• How Cahalan’s mission-driven sensibility showed up in her work, and in what ways having a mission (as opposed to an agenda) at the heart of your memoir serves your story.

• How to deal with what you don’t remember—and why you can’t write a memoir that changes lives if everything you don’t remember is off limits.

• What Brain on Fire can teach you about structure and narration—from short chapters to writing from various “I” narrators to the story arc that makes this book such a page-turner.

• How to use journalism techniques to drive home your points, educate your readers, and deliver a memoir that matters.

Join us for this hour-long free webinar Monday, September 12, at 4pm PT | 5pm MT | 6pm CT | 7pm ET.

Learn more and register for this free event.

Labor Day and Back to School Sale 2016

 It’s time to celebrate Labor Day and Back to School here at NAMW!

From September 3 through September 5, 2016 at midnight, NAMW is offering $20 off the cost of an annual membership to NAMW!

Here at NAMW, we think of the end of summer and the new crispness of autumn as a chance for new beginnings. I always think the beginning of September is a perfect time to pick up projects that languished over the summer and recommit myself to my work. It’s a great time to refocus and reset goals, and make plans for our projects as if we are going back to school. I don’t know about you, but I loved those new notebooks, pencils, and the aroma of new books, and still love to buy new pens!

And here at NAMW, we offer so many opportunities to learn, from our Member Teleseminars and Roundtables to our special Telesummits and Group Coaching. You have access to the recordings of these events when you become a member.

So we say, let’s KICKSTART our focus with a sale on NAMW annual membership!

If you are working on your memoir, and want to learn craft, get inspiration, and have accountability to develop your memoir, please join us. We want to support you to get your memoir written and published.

Become a member today!

To celebrate new beginnings, NAMW is offering $20 off the cost of annual membership and renewals from Saturday September 3rd through Monday September 5th!

NAMW new Memberships are  $149 SALE $129 
NAMW Renewals are $139 SALE $119

Current and lapsed members are encouraged to take advantage of this sale!

If you’re still unsure about joining, here are just a few great reasons why it pays to be a NAMW member:

  • FREE access to Live Monthly Teleseminars and FREE downloadable recordings of over 70 archived Teleseminars
  • Free downloadable recordings of our past Telesummits, with valuable topics such as “From Story to Sold! Becoming a Successful Memoir Author”
  • Special Member Discounts for Workshops, Online Classes, and Webinars
  • Receive three FREE e-books on the memoir-writing craft by renowned authors
    PDF download of the NAMW e-Book: Memoir Writing as a Healing Journey by Linda Joy Myers, Ph.D.
  • Access to information on contests, grants, and publishers as well as exposure to cutting-edge news and information about the memoir-writing field
  • All members of NAMW are invited to sign up for once a month group laser coaching sessions with Linda Joy Myers
  • Opportunities to share your successes and new publications with other memoir writers and ask questions on our NAMW Members-Only Facebook group

…And much, much more!

We hope in the spirit of the new “school year,” you’ll decide to take your relationship with NAMW to the next level and join as a member.

 

New, current and expired members are encouraged to take advantage of this sale. 

If you are a member, be sure you are logged in to get the additional discount and we’ll simply add 12 months to whatever amount of time currently exists on your membership.  It’s that easy!

We hope to see you at the next teleseminar!

 

Testimonials

Myers makes a compelling case for the power of words as a form of healing and growth.

professor of psychology, The University of Texas at Austin and author, Opening Up and Writing To Heal

...the NAMW memoir classes with Linda Joy Myers are wonderful