Arnold Zable on Writing a Life
Arnold Zable

Over the years of running my ‘Writing a Life’ workshop, I have heard so many great ideas for stories. Here is a list of some of the things I have learnt about life writing in response to these ideas — both as a practitioner and as a workshop facilitator:

1. You have the idea, but you need to decide the best way to make it a story. Fiction or non-fiction? Memoir, autobiography, or biography? Novel or family story?

2. What they have in common, across genres, is the art of story — which in turn is the art of taking people to other worlds, and getting them to walk in another’s shoes.

3. You also need to explore the ‘voice’ in which the story is written and told, and the right tone. How do you strike the voice and tone that is true to you?

4. At the heart of engaging storytelling is the art of scene construction— taking readers to the places you want them to go.

5. There are big ticket items to manage in writing a life — including the art of writing about character and place—these are among some of things we will explore in the workshop.

Our thanks to Arnold Zable

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