H Is for Hawk

Class 1. The Art of Blending
• The definition of experimental memoir and why H Is for Hawk qualifies.
• How to take liberties with point-of-view, and make it work.
• How Helen weaves a tapestry of themes, each one informing the other, and how to track this in your own work.
• Tracking the inner and outer worlds—and inviting your reader all the way in on both fronts.

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Class 2. How to Handle Grief in Memoir
• The use of someone else’s story (in Helen’s case, T.H. White’s) to make sense of your own.
• Universal vs. specific grief—why both matter.
• Tracking Helen’s descent into grief to help you understand your own arc.
• The language of grief in metaphor and poetic descriptions that capture the reader, and help you, the writer, understand how language supports theme development.

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Class 3. Using Language to Captivate and Wow Your Reader
• The power of imagery and metaphor to deepen descriptive passages.
• Crafting your description to fully envelope the reader in sensual details and help them lose themselves.
• What’s in it for the reader? Universal messages in H Is for Hawk, and how to pay attention to them to become a better memoirist yourself.
• The power of showing vs. telling—complete with concrete examples.

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Class 4. The Journey of Personal Transformation in Memoir
How obsession about hawking, her father’s history, the history of Britain, and White’s story create an arc of the story.
• The ascension from grief, and how to help your reader track your emotional arc.
• Land and history as healing metaphors.
• The through-line of transformation across multiple characters (in Helens case, her own, Mabel’s, her father’s, and T.H. White’s)

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