May 26, 2024

Running with Scissors 4-week class

Register today for just $75 (and you can bring a friend for free)

Running with Scissors offers eye-opening insight into what’s possible. Often accused of making up details, Burroughs has escaped any kind of repercussions with his writing by holding to his truth. In this free webinar, we’ll talk about emotional truth, writing details even if/when they’re barely there, and we’ll explore a simple but important question: Whose truth are you telling anyway? (Spoiler alert: yours!)

Mondays, October 9-30, 2017, from 4-5pm PT/7-8pm ET.

We always record, so if you have to miss a class, we’ve got you covered!

Class 1. October 9
Does Disturbing Equal Commercial?
• Did the level of detail in this book make you uncomfortable at times? We’ll examine the question of how much to include in your own memoir.
• Writing about dysfunction—writing about overriding your own instincts and the difference between what you knew and what you believed.
• How to write disturbing scenes and details while still taking care of yourself.
• The importance of dispassion when writing about dysfunction and abuse.

Class 2. October 16
Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Detail?
• Augusten’s scenes and vivid details are a reminder of the truism: “emotional truth” is all that matters. How to decide what and how much to share.
• How to create characters that jump off the page and make you want to keep reading
• Examples of good dialogue—and what makes it good.
• Does Augusten go too far? A look at boundaries in memoir.

Class 3. October 23
Writing with Self-Awareness, Insight, and Reflection
• How to hold two narrative voices—the Voice of Innocence and the Voice of Experience
• How to insert your “now” reactions and feelings onto a past version of yourself
• You care about Augusten pretty much right away—why? How do we create a story where the reader cares about what happens?
• An overview of the balance between narrative summary, dialogue, and reflection (showing vs. telling and knowing what to use when)

Class 4. October 30
Over the Next Horizon
The myriad ways to wrap up your story, looking at Augusten’s method as an example.
• Setting up your readers, and yourself, for Books 2 and 3. What are the considerations, and how did Running with Scissors set us up for Dry and later Lust & Wonder?
• Standing in your own truth. Augusten didn’t back down when people confronted his truth. How can you brave the naysayers?
• Augusten’s brother and mother wrote their own memoirs. What lessons can we take away from the fact that there are multiple versions of the same story?