4_1 Getting Started

Individual Deliverable 4:  Getting Started

From:     Lani Uyeno
, Manager

To:         Hali'a Interns

Subject: Getting Started and Drafting

As mentioned with Individual Deliverable 2, getting started with memoir writing is often difficult for interns. In order to make the writing process simpler for you, we are going to take some time to do some prewriting before you actually start composing the first draft of your essay. Prewriting, also known as invention, is a way to come up with subjects to write about. You did this with the last individual deliverable when you listed possible subjects for your first memoir.

A memoir with a focus on setting might come from memories of the place where you were born and raised, or from a place you visited that changed the way you viewed yourself or the world.  Begin by listing places you have lived or visited that have been memorable for you. 

·            List at least 10 places.

·            Look over your list and jot down what impact each had on you. 

·            Then circle the three that interest you most.  Of those, put a star next to your favorite.


Now you are ready to draft your memoir focusing on a particular setting.

1.  Start with sight, which is for many of us the most immediate sense. Write down every image that comes to mind, whether it pertains to your story or not. Free associate. It doesn't have to make sense or be grammatical. Just get down as much as you can.

2.  Repeat the above for taste, smell, sound, and touch. Again, don't be afraid of unconventional answers. You never know what might end up in your final story.

3.  Finally, in one line sum up the mood you hope to evoke in your readers through your setting. Is it a feeling of loneliness, menace, nostalgia, contentment? See if you can identify an aspect no one else has considered.  In your draft, share your view and feelings with readers who have never been to this place before.


When you have completed your draft, move on Draft Sharing. Be sure to complete your draft before moving on. Please review the Daily Assignments tool for draft due dates.