Monday, January 27, 2014

Tales From My Memoir Writing Class: Character Study

Today's memoir writing class was a lot less intimidating than the first session. For one thing, the class crazy dropped out so we no longer had to deal with her. In our last class, she'd flipped out over our instructor's (rather mild) critique. Apparently her anger went further than that; after class, she literally cornered and threatened our teacher. Yeesh! I hope this woman never decides to submit her work to agents because she's in for a rough road if she can't take the slightest constructive criticism. Needless to say, I'm happy that she's gone because I dreaded having to comment on her work.

Next week we'll begin critiquing each other's work, but today we discussed the introductions of two memoirs: Stitches, a graphic novel by David Small and Seeing Ezra by Kerry Cohen. I'm not a big fan of comics or graphic novels, so reading a memoir in that form took some getting used to. But it's a compelling story about a boy's horrific child and I'm interested in reading more. Seeing Ezra, which is about a mother coming to terms with her autistic son, was less gripping in my opinion, but still very well written.

I really enjoyed participating in the discussions of these books. Everyone had different opinions and interpretations of the stories, but we were all fired up and eager to share our views. I felt as if I were back in a college literature class! It was fun and very invigorating.

After, we talked about the "characters" in our memoirs and how we can present them and flesh them out. I'm still not sure if I'm going to actually write a memoir for publication, but I feel that I took away many ideas that could be used for my novel. Even though I took a memoir writing class, it's really a course about simply writing well.

I handed in my first assignment today so we'll see what the teacher thinks of my work. All I know is that throughout the class, I kept wishing that I could go back and edit some things. I'm sure that whatever suggestions I'm given will be helpful.

Meantime, please read and review my novel REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD.

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