If you sometimes wonder what the difference is between memoir and fiction, you aren’t alone. Often writers use their experiences as fodder for novels, and memoir, which is based on life experience, must read like fiction yet not be fictionalized. Occassionally, a writer crosses the line and gets in trouble–as we’ve seen in the not too distant past.
Writers use the same techniques for fiction and memoir. Yet, while they share the same craft, a memoir writer must stick to the facts while a memoir writer can make them up.
Not ever nonfiction writer can write memoir. Not every novelist can write memoir.
I’d like to let my Northern California readers who are memoir writers know about a great workshop coming up on November 6 in Sunnyvale that will help you get a better handle on the line between memoir and fiction. It’s being taught by my friend, Linda Joy Myers, the president of the National Association of Memoir Writers, and sponsored by my branch of the California Writers Club. Linda is also the author of The Power of Memoir–How to Write Your Healing Story.
Here are the basic details and a link for more details and registration:
Most writers draw from personal experience when they write stories, whether they are casting the story as memoir or fiction. Many autobiographical novels are slightly altered memoir, and memoirs must use fictional techniques to create a story that draws people in. Since the incident on Oprah with James Frey, writers are overly concerned with defining their genre even as they begin spinning early drafts of their stories.
Free yourself from the constraints in your early draft, and just
WRITE. This workshop will focus on how to find your stories and memories to draw from, and teach you about fictional tools such as plot, scenes, dialogue, and the narrative arc.
In this hands-on workshop you will find the
• Timeline And Turning points
• Themes and Characters
• Fictional tools
that help you to begin and develop the ideas for your memoir or your fiction.
All writing comes from our experiences and the creative force within. Get in touch with your creative muse and sharpen your writing tools during this dynamic, interactive workshop.
For more details and to register, click here: