Using excerpts from the Art of Memoir by Mary Karr, The Situation and the Story by Vivian Gornick, and other writers, we'll examine the importance of overarching conflict in the memoir genre, its connection to theme, and explore ways to locate the forces that drive our protagonists and the internal and external conflicts that propel our stories.
We will focus on the following questions: What is the inciting incident, or a key event that sets your story in motion? How can you identify a turning point, with emotional stakes for the protagonist? What does your protagonist learn by going on this journey of discovery, and how might you, as the writer, keep your reader engaged?
Instructor: Judah Leblang is a storyteller, memoirist and writing teacher. His essays and commentaries have been broadcast throughout the US on more than 150 NPR and ABC-network radio stations, as well as several Canadian stations. He is a regular columnist for Bay Windows, Boston’s gay newspaper, and an instructor at Grub Street. The 2nd edition of his memoir, Finding My Place: One Man’s Journey from Cleveland to Boston and Beyond, was published in 2013. His new book Echoes of Jerry is about his Uncle Jerry, an orally-educated deaf man as well as Leblang's own struggles with his sexuality and trying to find his place in society, finally coming out in the mid-1980s. Clips of his performances and writing are at www.judahleblang.com.
Details: Finding Emotional Stakes in Memoir takes place Tuesday, August 8 from 6:00-9:00pm remotely online via Zoom.