Memoir Basics 3: Adding feelings, judgments, and explanations

Wrapping up


Finally, for your checkpoint piece, let’s revisit the snippet from the start of the lesson. Write your version of James McBride’s snippet, where he makes a new friend.

Remember, it can be based on your own experience, or made up, but it should:

  • set the scene - meeting someone important for the first time
  • include a little dialogue - share some feelings about the situation
  • judge important aspects of the person or situation
  • explain why all of this was significant to you (or, if you’re making it up, the narrator).

When I was in the fourth grade, a girl came up to me in the schoolyard during recess and said, “You have the prettiest hair. Let’s be friends.” I said, “Okay.” Heck, I was glad someone wanted to be my friend. Her name was Frances. I’ll never forget Frances for as long as I live. She was thin, with light brown hair and blue eyes. She was a quiet gentle person. I was actually forbidden to play with her because she was a gentile, but I’d sneak over to her house anyway and sneak her over to mine. Actually I didn’t have to sneak into Frances’s house because I was always welcome there.

The Color of WaterJames McBrideSource
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