Envisioning Your Memoir's Structure

Five Essential Tools that Will Help You Take Your Book from Draft to Done

  Enroll in Course

You’ve written a few drafts of your memoir (or novel). The project finally looks like a story, but you’re not sure what story you’re trying to tell. Or maybe you know the story you want to write, but the best structure still eludes you.

You’ve read a bunch of books, taken webinars, and moved a few things around, but every time you share the draft with beta readers, they smile blandly or say, “meh.”

Perhaps you’ve received competing advice from agents and editors. One wants a little more of something, the other wants a whole lot less. You want to make the right decision, but WHO DO YOU TRUST?

You don’t need more feedback on the pages you’ve written. You need targeted strategies that can help you develop a bird’s-eye view of your book so you can finally see the story—and as a result its best structure.

You also need tools that can help you shift things around without hacking your book to pieces.


Envisioning Your Memoir’s Structure: Five Tools that Will Help you Take Your Book from Draft to Done

During this self-guided course, you’ll learn how Beat Sheets, Synopses, a Misperception Matrix, Backward Outline, and Chapter Summaries can work together to help you identify and refine the structure for your book. As you work through these exercises, you’ll examine your project from multiple angles and uncover its narrative arc.

Learn the skills that will help you nail this book’s narrative arc, and make it easier to write the next one.

My memoir transformed in a matter of weeks from a bunch of chronological scenes to a powerful whole.”

- Dr. Heidi Kharbhih, Writer, Speaker, Intuitive Reader, Coach and Meditator

What You'll Learn:

  • The difference between story and situation
  • The five elements of a good story
  • The five most common memoir structures
  • How to use a beat sheet and synopsis to assess and then revise your story
  • How to use a misperception matrix to deepen your narrative arc
  • How to use a backward outline to create inevitability
  • How to use a chapter outline document to build a strong map of your draft

As a member of this self-study course, you'll also have access to FOUR live coaching sessions where you can ask questions and receive the inspiration needed to stay on track. All sessions will be recorded so you'll never miss a thing.

The sessions will take place on the following Wednesdays from 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM ET using Zoom

  • September 7, 2022
  • October 12, 2022
  • November 9, 2022
  • December 7, 2022

Course Curriculum

  Coaching Session and Bonus Videos
Available in days
days after you enroll

“I highly recommend Lisa’s courses for writers of every experience level.

- Andrea Lankford, Author of Ranger Confidential: Living Working and Dying in the National Parks


Students and Clients Have Been Published In or

Have Work Forthcoming From:

Hachette Book Group

St. Martin's Press

Rowman and Littlefield

American Psychological Association

Your Instructor

Lisa Cooper Ellison
Lisa Cooper Ellison

Hi, I'm Lisa Cooper Ellison, a writer, speaker, and writing coach, with an Ed.S in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a background in mindfulness.

While I've spent the past twenty years helping students and writers transform their life stories into art, I'm also a writer who struggles with the same hangups and story problems every writer faces, from doubts about the quality of my work to what in the world I'm trying to say.

It was those humble writer struggles that inspired me to create this course.

I wanted to find a way to help writers systematically see their stories, identify their narrative arcs, and learn the skills that would help them finish their current book, MARKET IT well, AND write the next one.

I spent years studying the craft of writing so I could develop, test, and then teach specific strategies that would help writers truly understand their stories and how to talk about them. I've spent the past eight years refining these strategies so I can now teach them to you.

Students and clients of mine have been published in or have books forthcoming from St. Martins Press, Hatchett, Promethius Books, APA, and Nortons; they've also been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, Brevity Literary Magazine, and HuffPost, among others.

But don't take my word for it. Check out what former students have to say:

“I finally see a route forward with my work."

- Janine de Boisblanc, Writer and Writing Instructor

"The materials presented are essential for any author regardless of genre. The course was rich in material that I know I will return to again and again."

Laurie Riedman, Writer and Coach

Course Curriculum

  Coaching Session and Bonus Videos
Available in days
days after you enroll

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
Between 9/7/22 - 12/14/22, you will have an opportunity to attend four Live Coaching sessions where you can ask questions and learn even more about how to structure your book. However, you'll have lifetime access to the video modules so you can refer to them again and again.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you'll have unlimited access to the video modules for as long as you like--across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us within the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.
Do I have to attend the live coaching sessions?
The live coaching sessions have been designed to enhance your experience in this course. Attending them will give you an opportunity to ask questions and learn from your peers; however, live attendance isn't mandatory. All sessions will be recorded so you can view them at your convenience.
What if I have questions about the material?
Attend a live coaching session. It's a great place to ask your question, because if you have one, it's likely someone else does too.
Is this class just for memoirists?
While the examples used in the course materials are all memoirs, the tools can be used to understand and analyze both memoirs and novels.

Are you ready to learn the skills needed to take your book from draft to done?

Do you want to learn proven tools that will help you:

  • truly see your story,
  • edit with precision,
  • feel confident about the choices you make,
  • know your book has what it takes to shine,
  • have access to a trusted guide as you work at your own pace?

Sign up today!

Get started now!