Telling Your Story with Joyce Maynard

Telling Your Story

“No matter what level writer you are, Joyce Maynard can make you better. She knows how to distill a story to its essence and help you shape it into a compelling experience for the reader.”

For twenty-five years, New York Times best-selling author Joyce Maynard has been leading workshops in the art and craft of memoir all over the U.S. and beyond. In light of the challenging times, Joyce has recorded, from her home by Lake Atitlan, a series of intimate conversations that will help you locate and tell YOUR story, identify your themes, and address the relationships between memoir and history.

Todos os episódios

Today's episode answers a very popular question - one concerning the creative process - how do we bring our best selves to the table, and keep showing up?  Since 1977, Joyce has created and followed a highly disciplined work practice that also keeps her inspired. But before sharing the elements of her writing practice, she reminds us that everybody has to create his/her/their own writing practice, based on what they know about themselves. Perhaps through Joyce's examples and anecdotes, you, too, will be inspired to create a dedicated space for your most important work, and then be devoted to doing the work, and doing great work. 

26 de jul.

24min 14s

First person? Third person? Through whose eyes are we experiencing the story as it unfolds?  This is an area where so many of us can - and often do - get into trouble, and violate the rules of good story-telling.  In this episode, Joyce guides us on how to establish and maintain a point of view that best serves our story. When we have point of view down, it makes us more trustworthy as narrators, which will then allow our readers to be fully invested in the stories we have to tell. 

16 de jun.

11min 28s

Today, we talk about structure in story-telling.  What is your story about?  When you sit down to write, did you consider what you'll be writing about? What is the story that you'd like to tell today? Choose one particular piece of your story, and follow that one, and partly, that means, you recognize and understand where you're headed, and where you want to land, your destination. Joyce calls this exercise, the Road Trip. 

1 de jun.

13min 34s

Today, Joyce invites you to join her, as she gives a craft talk on the language we use to lay out our stories. Language and our use of it, form the building blocks of absolutely everything in writing, and today, we dive into two lists of very different language - one Joyce calls, "dead language", and the other, "And Now for the Good Stuff".  This is an early exercise for all those who attend Joyce's workshop, and we thank each one of the nine brave women, whose words are used here, for their generosity in sharing this session. 

21 de mai.

22min 36s

How do we pack so many big experiences (that often spiral into so many different directions) into a personal essay?  By using a concept Joyce calls the Container.  Previously, Joyce has explored this concept and form with former student Betsy, whose story spanned decades, and identified a container that gives edges and containment to what is often unwieldy and abstract. Today, we continue this conversation and talk about the cinematography involved with our language.  Thank you, Betsy, for your openness to share your story with all of us.

27 de abr.

17min 5s

Previously, we talked about the big concept of the small container, and today, Joyce is joined by former student Betsy, to continue to tackle  big, global topics through the small stories that give edges and containment to what is often unwieldy and abstract. Thank you, Betsy, for your openness to share your story with all of us.

13 de abr.

22min 21s

The impulse that so many writers have when approaching memoir, is to tell everything... but we don't have to tell everything all at once.  Joyce suggests to begin with some short stories, and today we explore the short personal essay - there is a way in a very short space to tell a very big story - Joyce calls this the Container Story. 

9 de abr.

18min 12s

Every single sentence that we write is important, and deserves care, but there's one part of our writing that deserves even more care, and that's what Joyce calls, "the point of entry." If we don't get that part right - we risk losing our readers right from the get go. It's always easier to turn off the computer, put the book down, than it is to keep reading.  The beginning sentences need to win our readers over, and today, we talk about this "first meeting."

2 de abr.

16min 38s

Today, Joyce continues her conversation with Anne about one of the most important challenges for writers of personal narratives or memoir - whether or not we have a right to tell a story that involves other people who might be made uncomfortable by it.  Is it our job to make the readers feel comfortable with our stories?  Maybe sometimes, the job of a writer is to go to the uncomfortable place. Sometimes, the job of a writer is to take the reader to a place where they simply feel.  And sometimes, it is in going to the uncomfortable place, that we learn things that we've been needing to know. 

23 de mar.

13min 49s

A question that probably comes up more than any other, is how do we tell uncomfortable truths that hurt the people we love or those we feel an obligation to protect?  Today, Joyce continues this conversation with Anne, concerning the stakes of being an honest writer.  "In ways both small and large, so often we do not tell the truth of our stories. Specifically, because that's the case, it means so much when we do."

16 de mar.

18min 29s

Today, we address a subject so fundamentally important, that we will explore in 3 segments. It is a question that sooner or later, will face every author of memoir - how do you tell an authentic story about your life without hurting the people around you? This 3 episode arc will feature Canadian writer, Anne, who poses the question, How do you write about something so personal, that risks exposing someone we care about?

10 de mar.

18min 36s

Today, we discuss the central questions of which story to tell, and then, where to begin? What is the story that most calls out to you to be told? There's a reason why that story haunts you.  The same things that have created pain in your life are the things to explore.  Make a list of your obsessions. 

1 de mar.

14min 32s

Is it self-indulgent to write? What do I have to contribute?  Today, we talk about why anybody should tell his or her story, why it matters, and why others should care. 

22 de fev.

14min 50s

For twenty-five years, New York Times best-selling author Joyce Maynard has been leading workshops in the art and craft of memoir all over the U.S. and beyond.  Of all the places she’s taught, her favorite destination remains what has often been described as the most beautiful lake in the world: Lake Atitlan, Guatemala—where, for the last twenty years, she has been building a home and gardens that have been an oasis and inspiration to over three hundred writers who’ve travelled there every winter to work with her. This is where this series of podcasts is recorded and produced.   It is a series of intimate conversations with Joyce and some of her writing students that explore many journeys and global questions in memoir. We start by addressing questions such as, do we need to tell our memoir? What goes in it? What are we really looking for? And how do we arrive at the sense of freedom to tell our whole, true, story?

11 de fev.

14min 24s