Thursday, May 28, 2015

4 Day Beach Retreat with NYT Bestseller Jennifer Lauck


August 21-24, 2015




Sit under the sun, stroll the beach, work on your writing in the wind, take a yoga class, get to know writers over a fish taco, make a writing plan for the upcoming year!  

All that and more is part of the annual Beach Retreat with New York Times Bestseller, Jennifer Lauck.  We meet together on the Oregon Coast for this fun, inspiring, power workshop with lots of writing and lots of learning.  

Writers come from around the world and end up bonding to become lifetime friends. Don't miss it. Plus, Jennifer will be breaking out her most advanced interpretation of the story pyramid, giving much needed insights about plot, structure, character and scene. 

There will be two days of intensive teaching, from 10-4 with a break for lunch and two days of broken teaching, in the AM and the PM, leaving you time for writing/revision and for resting your mind as you stroll the wide, long beach of Manzanita or hike the narrow, steep trails up Neakahnie Mountain.   You will also have private meetings with Jennifer on your project and will be workshopping with the entire group!

DATES: August 21-24
TIMES: Aug. 21 &23, 10-1 & 4-6:30
Aug. 22 &24 10-4 p.m. (Snacks, tea, coffee provided)
COST: $375.00** For those who register by June 1. $475.00 after.

Payment Options
ADDL DETAILS: You are responsible for your travel and your accommodations. Great places can be recommended, just ask me at jenniferlauck@gmail.com.

Spindrift Sunset Surf Ocean Inn Inn at Manzanita Coast Cabins Sunset Vacation Rentals * THERE ARE NO REFUNDS ON DEPOSITS OR WORKSHOP TUITION ONCE PAID.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wednesday PM Bones of Story Telling



"I'm so happy I signed up for this class. You have blown me away with your enthusiasm and passion."   
~ Michael T. 

We begin our Spring term on May 7 at 5:15-7:15 and are in the midst of taking registration.  Click here to sign up. 

My goal is to teach concept, theme, plot, structure, character and setting AND, for you to walk away with a plan for writing a solid first & second draft.  Everyone who takes this class loves it.



NEW TERM: 

May 6 - Class 1:  Concept & Theme 
Handouts:  Concept and Theme
NEW ADD:  Butler Dreamstorming

Homework Post Class: 
  • Spend about 40 minutes writing as many What If Questions as you can on your project.  50-80 is about normal.  Samples sent via email. Also try the dream storming idea from the Butler handout.  Use these interchangeably.
  • Balance out your theme as shown on pg. 125
  • Print out Plot handout (link below), print, read, bring.  This is the first seven chapters of Booker.

May 13 - Class 2:  Plot
Handouts:  Seven Basic Plots

Homework: 
  • Spend about 40 minutes revising What If Question. 
  • Send your balanced theme to jennifer@jenniferlauck.com
  • Print out W and Structure Handouts.
  • Watch Thelma and Louise.
May 20 - Class 3:  Structure &W 
NOTE:  Class will start early 5:00 and run over to 7:30

Handouts: W & Structure (emailed)

May 27 - Class 4:  Setting and Character  
NOTE:  Class will end early:  6:40 
Handouts:  Pg. 241 - 275 & Chap. 18 Booker on Character 
                    Pg. 61-85 & 106-115        Brooks on Character
                    Pg. 144 - 159                    McKee on Character 

Homework: 
  • Read your handouts sent via email.
  • Watch a film - Stranger than Fiction and chart scenes on W
  • If helpful, organize your own what if questions on W
 

June 3 - Class 5:  Setting/The Antagonist/What's Next

Handouts:   McKee Chap. 14 on Antagonist  
                     Setting Sketch Sheet
                     McKee on Setting and Structure

Homework: 
  • Make a copy of character sheet for each primary character and asking what the conscious and unconscious desires are for each.
  • Interview your protagonist with the questions from Larry Brooks, pg. 112
  • Watch American Hustle and doc. each scene on W, find incite incident, pp1, mid-point, lull and pp2
  • Print out and read your handouts


Reference texts: 
Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker (suggested)
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks (suggested)
Story by Robert McKee (suggested)

Shadows Beneath by Brandon Sanderson (For sci-fi writer's) 
Tell it Slant by Brenda Miller
Screenwriters Problem Solver by Syd Fields
On Writing Well by William Zinsser
The Art of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri
PROGRAM:  Scrivener (free download for 30 days). 

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Wednesday AM Bones of Storytelling


You gave so much great information in 5 short weeks. Your input gave solid insight into how to build a good story. I especially liked structure. Your W diagram showed me very clearly how it's done. ~ Barbara

Spring registration is open now.  A new term begins new term Wed., May 6th at 11 a.m.  Click here to sign up.   

My goal is to teach concept, theme, plot, structure, character and setting AND, for you to walk away with a plan for writing a solid first & second draft.  Everyone who takes this class loves it. 
  





May 6 - Class 1:  Concept & Theme 

Handouts:  Concept and Theme
NEW ADD:  Butler Dreamstorming

Homework Post Class: 
  • Spend about 40 minutes writing as many What If Questions as you can on your project.  50-80 is about normal.  Samples sent via email. Also try the dream storming idea from the Butler handout.  Use these interchangeably. 
  • Balance out your theme as shown on pg. 125
  • Print out Plot handout (link below), print, read, bring.  This is the first seven chapters of Booker.

May 13 - Class 2:  Plot

Handouts:  Seven Basic Plots

May 20 - Class 3:  Structure & W 

Handouts: W & Structure  (emailed)

Homework: 
  • Spend about 40 minutes revising What If Question. 
  • Send your balanced theme to jennifer@jenniferlauck.com
  • Print out W and Structure Handouts.
  • Watch Thelma and Louise

May 27 - Class 4:  Setting and Character 

Handouts:  Pg. 241 - 275 & Chap. 18   Booker on Character
                    Pg. 61-85 & 106-115          Brooks on Character
                    Pg. 144 - 159                      McKee on Character


Homework: 
  • Read your handouts sent via email.
  • Watch a film - Stranger than Fiction and chart scenes on W
  • If helpful, organize your own what if questions on W
 

June 3 - Class 5:  Setting/The Antagonist/What's Next

Handouts:   McKee Chap. 14 on Antagonist   
                     Setting Sketch Sheet
                     McKee on Setting and Structure
  
Homework: 
  • Make a copy of character sheet for each primary character and asking what the conscious and unconscious desires are for each.
  • Interview your protagonist with the questions from Larry Brooks, pg. 112
  • Watch American Hustle and doc. each scene on W, find incite incident, pp1, mid-point, lull and pp2
  • Print out and read your handouts


Reference texts: 
Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker (suggested)
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks (suggested)
Story by Robert McKee (suggested)

13 Ways of Looking at the Novel by Jane Smiley
On Writing by Stephen King
Turning Life into Fiction by Robin Hemley
Tell it Slant by Brenda Miller
Screenwriters Problem Solver by Syd Fields
On Writing Well by William Zinsser
The Art of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri
PROGRAM:  Scrivener (free download for 30 days). 

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thursday PM Craft Class



"As a very old teacher, I love your touch with people." ~ Helen

This is an approval based class.  Please send 1) References from previous workshops 2) A representative sample of your writing 3) Your background to jennifer@jenniferlauck.com.  I also like writers in who attend this class to have taken The Bones of Storytelling.  You can do this online or attend prior to attempting to take this class. 


NOTE:  Current class, check schedule below and if you need to switch your reading time with another writer, please let Cloie know ASAP.  We are reading The Descendants by Kawi Hemmings too. 


Class 5:  May 28 @ 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Additional Reading: Continue The Descendants - Book and development beyond movie
Readers: Becky, Rosemary, Bill, Sara, Nancy

NEW TERM BEGINS:  June 11 - July 23

Class 1: June 11 @ 5:30 - 8:30 
Discussion:  Welcome, project share and workshop process  
Readers:  Elyse, Becky, Cloie, Audrey, Sara

Class 2:  June 18 @ 5:30 - 8:30 
Discussion:   
Readers: 

Class 3: June 25 @ 5:30 - 8:30 p.m
Discussion:  
Readers: 

Class 4:  July 9 @ 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Discussion: 
Readers: 
 
Class 5:  July 16 @ 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Additional Reading:

Class 6:  July 23 @ 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Additional Reading


 
 

Reference texts: 
Story by Robert McKee (REQUIRED)  
Debra Gwartney on Memoir  (click on link) 
Philip Lopate on Writing Personal Essays  (click on link)
Tell it Slant by Brenda Miller
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks
Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker
Screenwriters Problem Solver by Syd Fields
On Writing Well by William Zinsser
The Elements of Style by Strunk/White
The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman



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Thursday AM Craft Class


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

This page is for students in the AM Craft Class at The Attic. We are in the midst of taking registration for Spring Term. We begin Apr. 2nd at 10:30 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 hone your ability to write scene. 


Required Text:  Tell it Slant by Brenda Miller
Suggested Text:  Story by Robert McKee


Class 4: May 28
Pre-reading: Paramedic Method 

Two Pg. Essay Assignment (500 words) Prompt: Repairs
This is a 500 word essay, on the topic of your choice, that tells a whole story with a beginning, middle and end. Bring three copies.

Workshop Readers:  Joy, Laura, Ann, Grace, Kate, Jacqueline
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.  Bring 14 copies please (copy service at corner next to New Seasons).

Class 5: June 4
Pre-reading: Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

Workshop Readers:  Linda, Rebecca, Elaine, Vanessa, Melissa,
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.  Bring 14 copies please (copy service at corner next to New Seasons).

Summer Series: June 18 - July 23

Class 1:  June 18
Pre-reading: 2 pg. essay critique advice (Emailed)

Workshop Readers: 
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.  Bring --- copies please (copy service at corner next to New Seasons).

Class 2: June 25
Pre-reading:  

Two Pg. Essay Assignment (500 words) Prompt: 
This is a 500 word essay, on the topic of your choice, that tells a whole story with a beginning, middle and end. Bring three copies.  

Workshop Readers:
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.  Bring 14 copies please (copy service at corner next to New Seasons).

Class 3: July 2
Pre-reading: 

Workshop Readers:
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.  Bring 14 copies please (copy service at corner next to New Seasons).

Class 4: July 9
Pre-reading:

Workshop Readers: 
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.  Bring 14 copies please (copy service at corner next to New Seasons).

Class 5: July 16
Pre-reading: 

Workshop Readers: 
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.  Bring 14 copies please (copy service at corner next to New Seasons).

Class 6: July 23
Pre-reading:  

Workshop Readers: 
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.  Bring 14 copies please (copy service at corner next to New Seasons).


Reference texts:  Click on Links
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). 

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Methods of Memoir: Turn Life into Fiction

This is a workshop based, lab style writing class where you learn how to hone your lived experience into a well told story.  Since we are culling our teaching from literature, fiction writers are welcome and will learn as much about craft as the memoir writer.  You will be reading your work out loud, creating new work from prompts, and studying the essay, the short story and chapter excerpts of published work.    

This is a terrific class for the writer who has had some experience with their craft and needs a community, as well as mentorship.  You will leave class inspired and energized. 


Class 1:  May 4 
Pre-reading: Cherish this Ecstasy by David J. Duncan

Workshop Readers: Allison, Susan, Sue, Caitlin
This is a 1250 words total. Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.  Bring 11 copies please (copy service at corner next to New Seasons).  
 
Class 2:  May 11
Pre-reading: Greg Ames Short from The Sun 

Workshop Readers: Tad, Leighann, Shauna, Janice, Mary
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins. Bring 11 copies please (copy service at corner next to New Seasons).

Class 3: May 18
Pre-reading: Kathleen by Tom Rachman  

Workshop Readers: Karen, Kate, Susan, Sue
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins. Bring 11 copies please (copy service at corner next to New Seasons).

Class 4:  May 25
Pre-reading: Thief by Jess Walter

Workshop Readers: Allison, Caitlin, Tad, Leighann
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.  Bring 11 copies please (copy service at corner next to New Seasons). 

Class 5: June 1
Pre-reading:  Rules of Inheritance by Claire Bidwell Smith

Workshop Readers: Shauna, Janice, Karen, Kate, Mary
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins. Bring 11 copies please (copy service at corner next to New Seasons).


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Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Bones of Storytelling - Virtual Option


 


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


 This is a truly extraordinary class that will change everything about the way you think about writing and your own work.  Beginner to advanced, all who take this class are blown away.  You will leave this class 100% clear about what needs to happen to finish your novel, essay, short story or memoir. Learn about story at the core level and more, how story reaches a 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: $99.00

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

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Do You Read? Edit? Consult?

 
Developmental Evaluations:  You've finished your manuscript and need a sharp, strong reader to take in the larger picture.  My goal is to help you get that book agent ready. With 30 years of storytelling behind me, including my current teachings on structure, plot, character development, I am a terrific reader with a strong sense of story flow.  I think way 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 20 pg. response for you to revision and re-structure.  We have a one hour follow up call on this, to talk through what I've seen in your work.  You will leave inspired with new possibilities for your redraft. Email me for the costs and availability. 

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.  

NOTE:  In 2014/15, I'm booked up on a writing project of my own and can only take a small number of consults and developmental evaluations.  I give priority to current students.  Please send me an email to discuss or speak to me after/before class. 

Email Jennifer@jenniferlauck.com.


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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.


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