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IFBC 2015: Honing the Craft by Jess Thomson

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Personal Narrative, Voice, and the Writing Process

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IFBC 2015: Honing the Craft by Jess Thomson

  1. 1. HONING THE CRAFT Personal Narrative, Voice, and the Writing Process with Jess Thomson www.jessthomson.com T: @onfoodandlife I: @jessthomson
  2. 2. GET TO WORK While you’re waiting, write down 5 emotionally- charged memories that have no connection to food. You’ll need them later.
  3. 3. 1.Voice 2.Process 3.Narrative 4.Practice
  4. 4. Voice • Definition • Varying Voice • The Freaky Hookah-Smoking Caterpillar • How to Be the Anti-Alice - Word Choice/Patterns - Stop, Look, and Listen
  5. 5. The Boiling Water Test Write the introduction to a story for your own blog called “How to Boil Water”
  6. 6. A good blog post is the one no one but you could ever write. -Tara Austen Weaver
  7. 7. HOW? PRACTICE
  8. 8. The Writing Process • Who: Identify your voice • When: Find your sweet spot • Where: Location, location, location • How: Know your patterns
  9. 9. nar·ra·tive ˈnerədiv/ noun noun: narrative; plural noun: narratives 1. a spoken or written account of connected events; a story.
  10. 10. Make a Scene ACTION DIALOGUE SETTING CHARACTERS TIME SENTIMENTS
  11. 11. Let’s Do This Previous directions: While you’re waiting, write down 5 emotionally-charged memories that have no connection to food. NOW: Pick one of these memories. Then pick one moment in that memory as an entry point. Write a paragraph or three.
  12. 12. Better Narrative: Be Generous to the Reader • Action: Say exactly what you see, give details • Talking/Dialogue: Be emotionally truthful • Setting: Place, weather, time of day, describe the room • Characters: Don’t assume your readers know you. • Time: Beginning/Middle/End • Sentiments: What makes you uncomfortable?
  13. 13. 3 Go back to your scene. Make three changes that can bring the reader in deeper.
  14. 14. We create structure out of our discomfort so other people can take shelter there. -Lisa Jones, on memoir
  15. 15. QUESTIONS Jess Thomson jessthomson@me.com www.jessthomson.com T: @onfoodandlife I: @jessthomson

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