The next workshop I’ll be teaching focuses on research methods for writers of non-fiction, specifically memoir. As writers, so many of us fail to understand just how critical research is to the quality of our writing. We spend so much of our energies on the tasks of constructing stories, honing eloquent sentences and editing, but often neglect the important components of research.
Read the course description that follows.
Our Stories, True Stories: Research for Memoir and How To Do It:
What makes a memoir compelling? A good story and its context, that's what! And those are based on exceptional credibility and depth. Credibility depends upon factual accuracy and a memoir's richness—its depth and complexity also derive from details and their accuracy.
How do we create believable scenes for events we may not remember accurately or those that may have taken place well before we even began our own lives? Perhaps in lands we've never seen or will see?
All writers know that scenes are set in time and place, geographically and historically. Setting includes scenery, topography, clothing fashions, news worthy events, prevailing scandals, popular books, best restaurants, famous people, natural disasters—you name it. These must all be written about accurately.
Successful memoirists write truth and employ extensive research to enhance it. Writers consult sources that range from public material such as newspapers, magazines, books, and the internet to private ones including personal interviews, correspondences, diaries, photographs. There is a plethora of material many of us tend to overlook.
The story is yours but I can help you improve your research skills. Good research is key to achieving credibility and depth in your story.