Start writing your memoir and master the tools used by successful memoirists.
This course is for anyone who dreams of writing a memoir, but doesn't know how to go about it. The course offers expert, one-on-one training, line by line, from a professional writer, and provides a foundation in the craft of memoir. Learn how to set up a writing schedule, plan your memoir and start the process of putting your life story into words.
Course details: Modules: seven modules Duration: six months Course fee: R5,495 Start date: at any time, applications all year round
Student completes several writing exercises and a preliminary start of at least 10,000 words with one-on-one instruction from a tutor
Tutor: Lisa Lazarus has co-written her memoir The Book of Jacob (Oshun) with her husband about the first year with their son, Jacob. Julia Denny-Dimitriou, writing for the Natal Witness, regarded this memoir as "the book that affected me most [in 2009]...A courageous and beautifully written book." She also works as a freelance journalist for a variety of publications, including Men's Health, Femina, Psychologies, Shape, Cosmopolitan, Femina, Healthy Pregnancy and the Mail & Guardian. She has a master's degree in educational psychology. She is currently completing her master's in creative writing at UCT.
Admission requirements: -Students must be proficient in the English Language -Email and internet access required -No previous tertiary qualification required
Module one - an introduction to memoir -What is memoir? -Why do people write memoirs? -How to overcome some common fears about writing memoir -What you can expect from this course? -Exercise: construct a schedule, your expectations for the course, and warm-up writing exercises.
Module two - the basics -Different types of memoir -Understanding theme and point of view -Finding your voice -Reading memoirs -Exercise: your memoir proposal, and discuss voice, theme and point of view in a memoir of your choice.
Module three - characterisation -The narrator versus the protagonist -Getting to know your protagonist -The central character - you -Memory triggers -Other characters -Assembling a cast of vivid, believable major and minor characters -Exercise: using memory triggers and a brief scene in which two of your characters interact. -Text installment: 700 words
Module four - plot -Plot versus story -The key elements of plot -Classic and alternative plot structures -Sub-plots -Exercise: the plot outline of your memoir -Text instalment: 1,500 words
Module five - setting -The environment: place, weather, light, sound, textures = atmosphere -Exercise: the setting of your memoir -Text instalment: 2,000 words
Module six - putting scenes together -Scenes, chapters and paragraphs -Transitions, beginnings and endings -Exercise: practice writing transitions -Text instalment: 2,000 words
Module seven - writing style -Good and bad style tips -Finding your own style -Exercise: examine your own writing style -Text instalment: 2,500 words -Final text instalment: 10,000 words