Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Without further ado, our latest announcement!

In an attempt to keep growing here at the Red Dress Club and in an effort to continue to challenge you all, Cheryl, Katie, and I have spent a great deal of time brainstorming ways to make the Red Dress Club even better.

And we are so excited to finally share our newest endeavor with you.

Beginning on Tuesday, we will have a new day of writing…another day for you to bring your stories to life and link up.

We will continue with Fridays as we always have, but we’re going to offer another prompt…a prompt that challenges you to focus on writing memoir.

We’ll share the memoir prompts with you on Fridays and ask you to come back on Tuesdays to share your stories with us.

So, what exactly, is memoir?

What makes memoir different from journaling or writing in a diary? What makes it different than an everyday blog post?

Defined most simply, you could say that memoir is a narrative that is written from your own personal experiences.

But, really, it’s not that simple.

A memoir isn’t just a commentary of what has happened. It’s broader than that…much more reflective than that. When writing memoir, you should share your thoughts, feelings, and insights into your experiences.

The challenge is to take the ordinariness of your past and write it in such a way that it becomes meaningful and rich.

Here’s an example of an ordinary journal entry…
It was early morning when we got home. The driveway was still muddy after our trip to Grandma’s.

And this is memoir…
“The last stars were clicking out just as we pulled up in our yard. The old Impala’s tires had left deep muddy grooves in the yard in front of our house when we’d backed our for Grandma’s days earlier. Those were what we plunged back into coming home.”
-- The Liars’ Club, Mary Karr

We want to hear your stories. We want you to push yourself to turn an ordinary memory into a rich and reflective piece.

Here are just a handful of very basic tips for writing memoir:
  • Write in the first person.
  • Tell the good and the bad.
  • Engage the senses…tap into sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell.
  • Your pieces should be crafted, just as carefully as if you were writing fiction.
  • Create scenes that pull your reader in.
  • Don’t just tell us what happened. Show us.

Okay, okay, I hear you all saying, “get to the prompt already!”

This week, we want you to imagine that after you have died and your daughter/son will be given the gift of seeing a single five-minute period of your life through your eyes, feeling and experiencing those moments as you did when they occurred. What five minutes would you have him/her see? Tell us about them in the finest detail.

Let’s have a maximum word count of 700 words for this post.

Come back on Tuesday and link up your posts.
We truly can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Happy remembering!

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