Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Story Beneath the Story



I'm delighted to host Hope Edelman at The Blackbird Studio for Writers.

June 10-12!

Hope will teach one of her favorite workshops, a three day intensive titled The Story Beneath the Story.  Hope is a kind, smart, inspiriting teacher with a devoted following at 
theIowa Summer Writing Festival, in L.A, where she lives and raises her two daughters and around the world even. She has written seven books in her lovely career, and is published in The New York Times, and major magazines.

You cannot miss an opportunity to study with Hope.  The cost is $450.00 and we are accepting 15 writers.  Sign up quick for this terrific and life changing teaching.

Click here for details or write me, at jclauck@gmail.com for more information.


This Article's Link

0 comments

Tuesday Spring Craft Studio - Mar 15-May 17


"This is such a safe environment to grow and learn, thank you," ~ Cheryl

This page is for students in Tuesday Spring Craft Studio. We begin March 15th at 1a:30 a.m. If you are signed up, check out the schedule Virtual Option.

Class Detail:  You will read aloud several times to get a deep connection to the storyteller's voice within, we will read a selection of literary essays/short stories as well in order to discuss craft and style, and most of all, we will focus on how to write scenes!  

Required Text:  
I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Story by Robert McKee 

Tell it Slant by Brenda Miller. 


Class 1: Mar. 15

Pre-reading:  Feedback (emailed)
Intros, hellos, process of class, discussion of text.
Required Text:  Story, I'll Give You the Sun, Tell it Slant

Workshop Readers: Steven, Myrna, Jean, Joe
This is a 1250 words total. Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.  Bring 13 copies please.  
 
Class 2: Mar. 22
Pre-readingI'll Give You the Sun

Workshop Readers:  Janice, Susan, Ellie, Cathryn
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins. Bring 13 copies please.

Class 3: Mar. 29
Pre-reading TBA

Workshop Readers: John, Erica, Linda, Joseph
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins. Bring 13 copies please.

Class 4: Apr. 5
Pre-reading

Workshop Readers: Steven, Myrna, Jean, Joe
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.  Bring 13 copies please. 


Class 5: Apr. 12
Pre-reading: TBA

Workshop Readers: Janice, Susan, Ellie, Cathryn
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins. Bring 13 copies please.

Class 6:  Apr. 19
Pre-reading: TBA

Workshop Readers:  John, Erica, Linda, Joseph
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins. Bring 13 copies please.

Class 7: Apr. 26
Pre-reading: TBA

Workshop Readers: Steven, Myrna, Jean, Joe
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.  Bring 13 copies please. 


Class 8: May 3
Pre-reading: TBA

Workshop Readers: Janice, Susan, Ellie, Cathryn
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins. Bring 13 copies please. 

Class 9: May 10
Pre-reading: TBA

Workshop Readers: John, Erica, Linda, Joseph
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins. Bring 13 copies please.

Class 10: May 17
Pre-reading: TBA

WRAP



Reference texts and videos:  
Cultivations of Kindness Meditation (for self acceptance): Click here
Keep it Short by Danny Heitman (Click on link)
Debra Gwartney on Memoir  (click on link) 
Philip Lopate on Writing Personal Essays  (click on link)
Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks
Screenwriters Problem Solver by Syd Fields
Story by Robert McKee

Book Suggestions:

Live Through This by Debra Qwartney
Crazy for the Storm by Norm Olestead
Figment of my Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken
Rules of Inheritance by Claire Bidwell Smith 
SUGGESTED PROGRAM:  Scrivener (free download for 30 days). 

This Article's Link

0 comments

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Do You Read? Edit? Consult?

Developmental Evaluations:  You've finished your manuscript and need a sharp, strong reader to take in the larger picture.  With 30 years of storytelling behind me, I think outside the normal constructs, and can see what you are trying to create by this kind of read.  I will read your entire project, looking at the whole of it, and create a response for you to help in your revision and re-structure.  We have a one hour meeting too, in order to talk through your project. You will leave inspired with new possibilities for your redraft. Cost $1250.00

Consults:  This is for the writer who needs some individual insight.  You submit pages.  5000 word max (double spaced).  I read, make light edits and we talk through some of the issues I see in the work.  I provide handouts, teaching, advice, and homework!  $125.00 per consult with a minimum of a three session commitment.  

Email me to get started at Jennifer@jenniferlauck.com.


This Article's Link

0 comments

Friday, January 01, 2016

What I'm Reading






2015/16 Reading List 

Last academic year I posted my reading list.  You can find 2014 by clicking here.  This is my list for this academic year.  I post as I go.  







  1. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  2. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  3. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (3rd time)
  4. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Steig Larsson (audio)
  5. The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent 
  6. The Rise and Fall of Great Powers by Tom Rachman
  7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (2 times)
  8. The Girl who Kicked the Hornets Nest by Steig Larsson (audio)
  9. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
  10. The Girl in the Spiders Web by David Lagerkrantz (audio)
  11. The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante
  12. Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante
  13. The Year of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante
  14. The Lost Daughter by Elena Ferrante
  15. The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante
  16. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson  (3 times)
  17. Troubling Love by Elena Ferrante
  18. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  19. All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
  20. Sophie's Choice by William Styron
What are you reading?  

Leave a comment, share your thoughts on why you loved (or detested) a book. 

This Article's Link

0 comments

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Bones of Storytelling

You are such an amazing teacher. I am experienced and published, but when I came home I immediately started revising my novel. First chapter? Gone. Plot points? There. Heroine taking charge? You bet. You worked your ass off...we writers sure appreciate it. ~ Sue Lick

This teaching is the result of my own frustration with writing programs that do not teach structure to novelists and memoirists.  Why?" I've often wondered?  Are all stories really just brought into existence like Christ?  Does it take divinity to write a great book?  My answer, to myself, was NO!  There is an underlying structure to this work of writing.  This class is my discovery of this structure.  I've compiled a teaching, for myself, and those who work with me, that is clear, practical, smart and helpful!  You will learn, in order:  Concept, theme, plot, structure, character, antagonistic forces, and setting.  You will also walk away with a plan for writing a solid first & second draft.

The next class in this series will be a three day retreat in May. Details, click here.

 Everyone who takes this class loves it.  I hope you will too!  Sign up early.  Spots go fast.


Reference texts for craft and additional recurses:
Tell it Slant by Brenda Miller (Creative Non-Fiction)
The Situation and the Story by Vivian Gornick (Creative Non-Fiction)
From Where You Dream by Robert Olen Butler
Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks
Screenwriters Problem Solver by Syd Fields
Story by Robert McKee
Reading like a Writer by Francine Prose
On Writing Well by William Zinsser
The Art of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri Keep it Short by Danny Heitman (Click on link)
Debra Gwartney on Memoir  (click on link) 
Philip Lopate on Writing Personal Essays  (click on link)
Cultivations of Kindness Meditation (for self acceptance): Click here 
Scrivener (free download for 30 days)
 

This Article's Link

0 comments

Craft of Writing (AM) Fall

"I've studied all around Portland, but you are simply the best.  You're practical, kind and have extraordinary skills managing large groups.  I felt safe, AND I felt like you cared.  Thank you!!"  ~ Carole Wright

The Craft of Writing Class (AM) is an intermediate/advanced level course for the writer of memoir, fiction, short story and essay.

We read extraordinary published writing, and work on the elements of craft that include:

Scene development
Sensory immersion
Authentic voice development
Plot
Structure
Character development
Cultivation of the antagonistic forces that swirl within and without.

You will read your work aloud, you will create new work, and you will be supported in a kind, generous and warm atmosphere of professional courtesy.   You will leave this class informed and inspired!

SPRING REGISTRATION OPEN NOW:  Current Student's Take Priority.  Sign up here.

Reference texts for craft and additional resources:
Tell it Slant by Brenda Miller (Creative Non-Fiction)
The Situation and the Story by Vivian Gornick (Creative Non-Fiction)
From Where You Dream by Robert Olen Butler
Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks
Screenwriters Problem Solver by Syd Fields
Story by Robert McKee
Reading like a Writer by Francine Prose
On Writing Well by William Zinsser
The Art of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri
Keep it Short by Danny Heitman (Click on link)
Debra Gwartney on Memoir  (click on link) 
Philip Lopate on Writing Personal Essays  (click on link)
Cultivations of Kindness Meditation (for self acceptance): Click here 
Scrivener (free download for 30 days)

This Article's Link

0 comments

Monday, October 05, 2015

Bones of Storytelling - Audio Class

Every time Jennifer opens her mouth, I learn something!  
~ Eddie Leuken

This is a truly extraordinary audio class that will change everything about the way you think about writing and your own work.  You buy it, you receive the files with audios, handouts and instructions, and you start learning! Beginner to advanced, all who take this class are blown away.  You will leave 100% clear about what needs to happen to finish your novel, essay, short story or memoir. Learn how and why to reach the reader. Leave empowered with tools to finish a quality draft. 
  
You will learn: 
  • The seven basic plots
  • Three/four and five part structure systems
  • Story concept and theme
  • Seven character types
  • The four dimensions of antagonism
  • How to find your controlling idea as a result of the climatic action

Let creativity and advance planning work together.  Save yourself years of confusion, wasted time, frustration and rejection.  Leave this class with clarity, knowledge and a plan to finish (and publish) your novel, memoir and/or short story/creative non-fiction collection.

COST: $220.00
OR: Send me an email, jennifer@jenniferlauck.com and I'll get you an address to send a check.

This Article's Link

0 comments

Monday, August 10, 2015

52 Weeks 52 Books - 2014/15 Reading List

 

From August to August, I set myself the challenge to read 52 books.  
With repeats, I made it to 55 and it wasn't that hard. 
Okay, okay, Anna Karenina was very hard.  
Otherwise, it was a wonderful year. 

Here they are, in order of consumption:

1.     To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee – Done (2x)
2.     Illuminations, Mary Sharratt – Done
3.     Snow Falling on Cedars, David Gutterson – Done
4.     A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley – Done
5.     Girl with the Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier – Done
6.     Virgin Blue, Tracy Chevalier – Done
7.     Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See, Juliann Garvey - Done
8.     The Reader - Done
9.     Peace Like a River - Done
10.  Look at Me, Jennifer EganDone
11.  Salvage the Bones, Jesmyn Ward  - Done
12.  Lolita – Done
13.  The Language of Flowers, Vanessa Diffenbaugh – Done
14.  Jane Eyer, Bronte – Done
15.  Liar and Spy Rebecca Stead – Done (YA)
16.  Kira-kira, Cynthia Kadohata – Done (YA)
17.  Three Times Lucky, Sheila Turnage – Done (YA)
18.  The End of the Affair, Graham Green – Done
19.  All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr – Done 
20.  All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr – Done again!
21.  Persuasion, Jane Austin – Done
22.  Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austin - Done
23.  Wuthering Heights, Bronte –  Done
24.  Life After Life – Kate Atkinson – Done
25.  Lady Chatterley’s Lover – D.H. Lawrence  - Done
26.  The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald – Done
27.  The Invention of Wings – Sue Monk Kidd – Done
28.  Wednesday Wars - Gary D. Schmidt – Done
29.  About Grace, Anthony Doerr - Done
30.  The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd – Done
31.  The History of Love – Done (2x)
32.  Annie John by Jamaica Kincaide  – Done
33.  Ordinary People by Judith Guest– Done 2x
34.  A Tale for the Time Being- Ruth Ozeki – Done
35.  Okay for Now (YA), Gary D. Schmidt  – Done (2x)
36.  The Descendants by Kali Hemmings – Done
37.  Siddartha – Done (2x)
38.  Countryman of Bones by Robert Olen Butler - Done
39.  Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy Done
40.  Rules of Inheritance by Claire Bidwell Smith - Done
41.  We Live in Water by Jess Walter – Done
42.  Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat - Done
43.  10th of December, George Saunders - Done
44.  Tinkers by Paul Harding- Done
45.  Thunderstruck by Elizabeth McCracken (shorts) – Done
46.  Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro (shorts) – Done
47.  Little Women Louisa May Alcott Done
48.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Done
49.  Behind the Scenes in the Museum by Kate Atkinson - Done
50.  Go Set the Watchman by Harper Lee - Done
51.  A Gesture Life  by Change Rae Lee - Done

GO READ!

This Article's Link

0 comments

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Teaching Point: A Perfect Scene

We talk a lot about scenes in the craft classes.  It mystifies and perplexes us.  Many are so used to the busy patter of their thinking, they mistake that for a scene or think they can write:

Jerry walked into the room and sat down.  (Two passive verbs by the way) .... and then go into a long run of back story, exposition and never get back to the fact of Jerry in the room, or for that matter tell us what Jerry looks like, moves like, etc. 

A scene is a moment in time, when something happens.  One moment.  One thing.  It's active.  It moves on action.  You address what is happening in that moment and if you give back story...IF...it's about what is happening in THAT moment with the character.  Context...brief.  If you give exposition or go into internal spaces, again, it's brief.  A hint.  A flavor.

This poem by the truly brilliant Sherman Alexie does it all.  Look at his description of what happens and the percentage that is his own thinking in his own head. 

Crow Justice by Sherman Alexie

As I pump gas, a flock of crows passes
Overhead. Then another flock arrives,
And another, and a third, fourth, and fifth.
Jesus, the sky itself is made of crows,  (this is voice)
And they’re louder than the nearby freeway.  (5 lines of pure description of the moment)
Could this be a family reunion? 
Maybe these dark birds are planning for war.  (this is contemplation, his thinking)
Then, with one great hush, the flock goes silent,
And separates into living currents,
And forms winged rivers around a mid-air
Island of three quickly deserted crows.
Why? I don’t know at first, but then one bird,  (writer enters again with a tiny question)Much larger than the rest, breaks from the flock,
Quickly followed by other large, fast birds,
And leads a mass attack on the lost crows
And snap-snap-snaps their necks, and as they fall,
Tears them in half. As the crow-pieces hit
Hot pavement, the flock, as one, celebrates,
Yes, they celebrate, And I realize (he could have used description here to show me, reader, what crow celebration looks like, sounds like, but okay...we forgive this because, well, he's Sherman Alexie)
That I saw a public execution.
A murder of crows, indeed, but what crimes,
Among the crows, are punishable by
Death? I can’t begin to understand crow
Morality, Hey, I don’t want to try,  (now his summation of the the moment, in his own head)
But justice, like time, flies and flies and flies.


Look at the pacing, the percentages here.  25 lines.  9 lines are his thoughts in reaction to the moment he's shown us.  And only one is about "life."  That is a perfect way to gauge your own story telling.  9 out of 25 is about 1/3 of internal, the rest is external and pure reportage of ONE moment.


This Article's Link

0 comments