Creative Nonfiction: Memoir Assignment – 800-1,000 words

Creative Nonfiction Assignment

Memoir Assignment

For this assignment, you will write a memoir with the following parameters:

1. It must relate to the prompt: I was stuck.

2. The memoir must have a catalyst, rising action, a climax, and a resolution/revelation (it must be complete).

3. The story must be between 800-1,000 words.

4. It must be grammatically correct.

5. It must be in first person

6. It must be follow MLA formatting standards.

In order to write a true story and not bore your reader to death, you will need to use many of the craft elements of fiction: plot, setting, imagery, and vivid language. You will also, surprisingly to some, introduce a character, have a catalyst that starts the narrative moving, a conflict, and a climax.

The one difference between fiction and creative non-fiction: there may not be a resolution, but, instead, the author (you) may have a revelation that feels like an end to the narrative. Here’s the kicker, your ending should feel like a resolution in fiction, and it must be true.

No making stuff up here.

Memoir and Personal Essay

The memoir and personal essay are very close in concept, structure, and tone, but they differ (slightly) in structure and purpose.

Memoir is a narrative that comes from the protagonist’s (your) life. It tells the story with imagery, action, and suspense. It feels like fiction, but it is nonfiction shaped like a fictional story. It’s main purpose is to entertain and infomr.

The Personal Essay, however, aims to prove a point, to explore an idea, or support a thesis. There may be story involved, but in the end, the personal essay aims to persuade, typically.

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