Making you a better writer in fiction or nonfiction for novels, short stories, biographies, or wherever good creative writing is essential.
Thank you for your interest in the Writer’s Workshop I’m hosting. This is a SIX-DAY or SIX-WEEK course of one, three-hour session, per night or per week, from 7 PM to 10 PM. The rest of the time will be devoted to writing. There will be only six participants.
First, I’d like to tell you what this workshop isn’t. I know, that’s an odd way to start out, but I think for writers, both beginners, and those with more experience, and anyone who has some life experience under their belts, it’s important to put minds at ease.
So, what this workshop isn’t going to do is: Have live readings, have general announcements about anything not related to our writing, off subject discussions, or non-participant observers. It isn’t going to change what you want to say with your writing, change your style, change who you want to inhabit your stories, or the world you create for them (or they create for themselves, really). It isn’t about me telling you how to write, what to write, when, or with who to write. This class isn’t about egos. It’s about writing. I will not be a “god” that defines what is right or wrong. Gee, you must be thinking, then what’s left to do in a workshop?
It’s this: My intention is to bring out the best possible writer within each person by utilizing the experience I have in the many years I have been writing, attending classes, seminars, workshops, writer’s groups, writing books read, and the years I spent in the film industry working on films and being allowed on set to see the creative process in full swing and how the magic words can be transformed into something glorious by an actor, or something horrid by a director. I am also a published writer, have optioned screenplays, and written for hire.
We will work on Structure, Character, Plot, Theme, Exposition, Timing and Timeline, Flashbacks, Inner Mind, Omniscient Observer, First Person, Third person, Present Tense, Past Tense, Subtext, Back Story, Changing Scenes, Entering and Exiting Scenes, Ideas, Synopsis, Loglines (usually for film, but can help focus your prose writing), and more, not necessarily in that order.
These classes will be loosely structured, not list oriented, so we can work on what the writers want and need. Initially, before the first class, each writer will submit two pages from anywhere in their story or anything they would like to work on.
I offer two formats to follow:
1) Starting with the first week, I will tailor writing assignments where each writer creates two or four double-spaced pages based on the topics we have just discussed. Everyone will use the same template. You will be amazed at the diversity of creativity that comes from this. Never is one person’s story like any other. For the sixth week, each writer will create a two to four page story based on everything we’ve covered so I can evaluate, and tailor a direction for your progress.
2) A writer may work on their own material if they prefer, rather than taking part in the assignments. Each week, you will rewrite a different segment from your own stories. I say rewrite because I don’t want to receive samples where you haven’t invested what you’ve learned from the previous week. We don’t need to know your complete story, unless we are working on overall structure, plot layout, or synopsis.
For those of you that need work on structure, plotting, and story concept ideas, we will discuss that in conjunction with synopsis, so you can see your story in a bigger picture.
Each writer will also be critiquing each other’s work. You will send all the other writers a copy of your completed assignment as soon as possible after each class so we will all have a chance to read and critique that work. You will only be critiquing the first page. You will do this to the best of your ability by adding comments in the margins. This is a powerful tool to help you recognize the problems within your own writing.
I will give a complete line-by-line critique of the first two pages, covering every detail, and where need be, include examples.
At each class, we will discuss each submitted work, only reading aloud those elements we are working on. Because techniques overlap, we, as a group can decide what areas we all would like to work on for each evening, keeping in mind that there is an ebb and flow within and around techniques, binding them together as a whole.
I will lead the class, but everyone will participate. This doesn’t mean that anyone may run the class, it means that everyone can and should share information, questions, and knowledge. If you have differing opinions than me, that’s fine, we can discuss them in open forum at the end of the class. This workshop is not a debate. I am there to give my opinion garnered from my experience and knowledge of writing, but it is up to each person to evaluate what I offer and use it or not.
I am, however, demanding. I will demand to know why you take a certain stance, use a specific word or phrase, why a character does this or that, and so on. I believe good writers know why they do everything they do. I believe every word on the page is there for a purpose, not just thrown on like in so many abstract paintings, but applied like a Renaissance painter or a Kandinksy painting, where each stroke, shade, and color has a precise purpose. Of course, there are styles of writing that don’t follow any rules, but for our purposes, we won’t use those styles.
That about covers most of what I would like to accomplish for this course. There is a lot of information I mentioned above regarding different techniques and I don’t expect to be able to cover everything in one course, or to have everyone become expert at them in this amount of time, but it is a beginning.
The course commences whenever there are six confirmed participants.
Please email me at stuart@studioSL.com for schedules, to register or for other pertinent information.