Real Life Characters—The Heart of Your Memoir

maine_antique_girlsFree Teleseminar

Thursday March 7, 2013

4 pm PST   5 pm MST   6 pm CST   7 pm EST 

Join me for my free teleseminar on creating believable characters in memoir.

I’ll be the featured speaker on a Roundtable teleseminar at the National Association of Memoir Writers (NAMW) on how to bring the people in our stories alive so others can know them, too.

Characters — the people in our life stories — are at the heart of it all.
 In fiction, writers give focused attention to creating characters that carry the plot forward. Character motivation is a continuing consideration as characters reveal plot through a novel or short story. In screenwriting, the same is true.

In memoir, our job is different. We aren’t creating characters and deciding their relevant motivations, we’re taking what’s here and turning it into story. We’re writing about central and secondary characters and we’re drawing them in 3-D, so readers get to know them.

Characters — the people in our life stories — are at the heart of it all. Too often in memoir, writers make the assumptions that readers know the characters in their lives simply because they know them so well. They supply a physical overview at their introduction — build, hair color, eye color (e.g., she’s a petite redhead with green eyes) — and leave the characters lying flat on the page. A written photograph is as one-dimensional as a picture in a photo album. Who is this person you know? What is their style? What habits or mannerisms describe them?

I will share some great tips on what it takes to create a character in 3-D and bring them to life on the page.

• You’ll learn about showing character through action, dialog, style, and mannerisms — details that “characterize” and reveal a person.

• Readers need more than the incidents of our lives. You’ll get fresh ideas about the details that matter most and find out when to best include them. You’ll learn creative methods for character studies that supply you with all the details you need to create a character in 3-D.

• You’ll consider yourself as a character, something that’s both obvious and easy to overlook as a memoir writer. We can’t fairly assume readers know us or “see” us simply because we’re the narrator describing our experience.

• Reading as a writer is a vital way to improve your skills, and we’ll look at a few stellar examples of character by some of the best writers in print.

Sign up here.

All you need is a phone line — when you register you’ll receive the log-in information by email. On the day of the teleseminar, log in when it’s time, and join us! Looking forward to “seeing” you there.

About Suzanne

Suzanne Sherman is a veteran publishing professional, with thirty-five years in the field and a specialization in memoir and other nonfiction. Her clients have published with Wiley & Sons, Chronicle Books, Ten Speed Press, and a number of smaller publishers. She has also helped many authors successfully self-publish. Some of Suzanne’s memoir students and coaching clients prefer to write for personal pleasure or to create books for family, and they call her an invaluable guide.


Start Writing Right!

These 7 easy-to-follow essentials can get you started right or help you fine-tune your writing in progress. It’s a short, info-packed resource to help you improve on a good idea and give you the tools to build your exceptional story.