Finding Yourself as an Engaging Character in Memoir
As memoirists, we know the challenge of turning real people—friends and family—into fully-formed characters on the page. But what about our own selves as character? Who is the “I” on the page, and how does that person become a rounded, engaging, and believable presence?
While readers will listen to how we describe ourselves, those descriptions may not carry the weight we hope. In the end, readers want to “see with their own eyes”—who we are, how we act, what we say—in order to fully invest in our journey.
Making the reader want to spend time with the writer as narrator is crucial, whether you’re writing a 5-page essay or a 250-page book. In this 75-minute workshop taught by noted memoirist Dinty W. Moore, we’ll tackle our habitual shyness and uncertainty about how much to reveal and we’ll find out how to distinguish our own self-knowledge from what’s actually on the page.
In this workshop, you will also learn:
- Why characterization is so critical
- How the ways in which we assess people in “real life” transfer to how readers assess us on the page
- What to reveal, and what to keep hidden (TIP: You get to choose your privacy and comfort level!)
- How dialogue functions in building a credible narrator
- The importance of compassion when writing about others, but also when writing about the self
- How to gain the reader’s trust through honesty and fairness about yourself and your adversaries (And the surprising way sharing your own faults affects the reader!)
- How successful memoirists have used these strategies on the page, and how you can, too. (With writing prompts you can apply to your own manuscript today!)
Who should take this class
- Writers working on memoirs, either essay-length or full book projects
- Writers ready for substantial revision, but not sure where to start
- Writers struggling with characterizing friends, family, or themselves
- Writers examining their family history and their own legacy
- Fiction writers looking for fresh ideas on characterization
How do I know if this webinar is worth the cost?
This is an important question, and it’s a tough one to answer—especially since so much online education is available free of charge. Furthermore, every student is different, and a valuable webinar for one person can end up being a disappointment to another. For this reason, we offer full refunds if you register, attend the entire class, and fail to get the information you were looking for. Please email us directly to request a refund.
Do I have to attend the live class?
No. Everyone who registers will get access to the recording. However, if you’d like to attend live, keep reading.
How do I attend the live class?
This class uses Zoom webinar technology. You will join through your Internet-connected computer or mobile device. When you register, you will receive information via email on how to join the class. If you don’t receive it within 1 hour of registering, please contact us.
- When: Wednesday, February 24, 2021
- Time: 1 p.m.–2:15 p.m. Eastern Time / 10 a.m. Pacific Time
- Fee: $25
The webinar is broadcasted via the internet with live audio delivered through your computer or mobile device speakers. The visual presentation is displayed directly from the presenter’s computer to your computer screen. The Q&A is managed through a chat-style submission system with questions read and answered by the presenter for the entire class to hear.
Closed captions are provided during the live class. We use Rev’s automated closed caption service, which is about 80%+ accurate. For students joining the class through the Zoom app on a mobile device, you can disable the closed captions by going to your settings and turning off closed captions.
About the instructor
Dinty W. Moore is author of the memoirs Between Panic & Desire, and To Hell With It, the writing guides The Story Cure, Crafting the Personal Essay, and The Mindful Writer, among many other books. He has published essays and stories in Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, Creative Nonfiction, and elsewhere. Moore is founding editor of Brevity, the journal of flash nonfiction and co-editor of The Best of Brevity: Twenty Years of Groundbreaking Flash Nonfiction. He teaches master classes and workshops across the United States as well as in Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, Canada, and Mexico.
Dinty provides a wise, calm, and penetrative perspective on elements of the writing craft such as mindfulness, memory, character, and dialogue. Don’t spend time ruminating over taking this course. Your only regret will be why you didn’t take it sooner.
Dinty is a quick-footed and excellent teacher. Excellent suggestions given with kindness, directness, and humor. He was the right and perfect teacher for me and where I am with my writing.
I’ve had several experienced writers read my manuscript, yet Dinty was the only one to point out the big picture issues with my work. My brain is on fire, and I can’t wait to write.
You’ll receive the following
- Access to the 75-minute interactive class. After 60 minutes, Dinty will take questions using in-class chat/text. The class will end after roughly 75 minutes.
- A recording of the class—audio and video. This is especially helpful if you have a conflict with the class time or something comes up and you can’t make the session. Each registration comes with access to the archived version of the program and the materials for 30 days. You do not have to attend the live event to get a recording of the presentation.
- Presentation slides. All participants receive a copy of the slide presentation in PDF form.
- Rough transcript. We use Otter to create an automated transcript of the entire webinar, which we’ll share with you in addition to the audio and video recording.
- Supplementary handout with tips for characterization.
- Helpful writing prompts you can immediately apply to your own work.
Event Attendance & Anti-Harassment Policy
We strive to provide an environment where all present—whether attendee, presenter, or staff—can feel supported. In order to ensure a welcoming event, here is what we expect from all who participate.
- That the presenter and the presenter’s work be treated with respect by attendees and that all attendees treat each other with respect and a generosity of spirit.
- That attendees will refrain from harassment of any sort including (but not limited to) comments or questions of a racist, homophobic, sexist/sexual, or threatening nature. This includes actions that disrupt or interfere with anyone’s ability to participate. Offenders will be disconnected from the live event.
System Requirements to Join the Webinar
We will be using Zoom webinar technology.
- An internet connection: broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE)
- Speakers: built-in, USB plug-in or wireless Bluetooth
- 600kbps (down) for high-quality video and 1.2 Mbps (down) for HD video
- If you connect through audio only: 60-80kbps (down)
Supported operating systems:
- Mac OS X with MacOS 10.9 or later
- Windows 10, Windows 8 or 8.1, Windows 7
- Linux 6.4 or higher
- For a full list of supported systems, click here
Supported tablet and mobile devices:
- Surface PRO 2 running Win 8.1
- iOS and Android devices
- Blackberry devices
- Windows: IE 11+, Edge 12+, Firefox 27+, Chrome 30+
- Mac: Safari 7+, Firefox 27+, Chrome 30+
- Linux: Firefox 27+, Chrome 30+