The Art of Writing Past Misunderstandings

Wednesday, August 3, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 3:05 pm Eastern

Level All Levels

Life is full of quarrels, failures to understand, even outright disagreements and conflict. Any story has many sides—and that can become a problem when you’re writing.

Additional Information

Misunderstanding is, according to Merriam-Webster, a failure to understand, a quarrel, a disagreement. It’s life, in other words, and there are so very many sides to it, and that becomes a problem when you’re writing. How to fairly represent the trouble. How to find, through the act of writing itself, the story you can live with.

In this webinar, we’ll take an in-depth look at the art of writing past misunderstandings, using the work of Abigail Thomas and Helen Garner as our guide. In her memoir Safekeeping, and specifically in the section, “I Ate There Once” Thomas deploys multiple pronouns and a strictly unchronological telling to get to the heart of complex love.

In “Dear Mrs Dunkley,” Garner reckons with all the conveniently imprecise ways Garner once chose to tell a story about a former teacher. Both exquisite writers have essential things to teach about the ways we must reckon with unsettled truths, easy accusations, and unresolved despair. We’ll take a close look at these and other examples of writing throughout our webinar and consider strategies that can untangle current works in progress. We’ll end with some helpful writing prompts. Ahead of the session, participants can read a few short pages linked above.

In this webinar, you will:

  • THINK about the ways we can (and must) think past ourselves when writing memoir
  • LOCATE clarity inside the complexity of misunderstandings
  • TAKE AWAY prompts designed to help you tell your story

There will be time for Q&A after the presentation.

This webinar is ideal for writers at any stage of their career who are searching for the scene, the sentence, the tone to sort the hard stuff out.

All registrants receive a recording.

Closed captioning will be available.

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Please Note

It is not uncommon for classes to fill up before the end of early registration, particularly in the last few days before the deadline. If you know for certain that you wish to take a particular class, we recommend registering early. If you'd like to be added to a waitlist for a sold-out class, please email our director of education, Sharla Yates, at [email protected].

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Creative Nonfiction’s online writing classes have helped more than 3,000 writers tell their stories better.

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I enjoyed reading other peoples work and getting feedback about my own work– the handouts/video links and class lessons were also very informative and relevantly paced to the give structural guidelines.

Catherine O’Neill