Monday, March 30, 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 essay's, short stories, movies (for structure).  I'll also be incorporating great advice from other writers including Debra Qwartney, Bernard Cooper, Jane Smiley, Robert McKee and Stephen King. 

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. 

NOTE:  Former students of The Bones of Storytelling and AM Craft Class will be very happy here as well.

Starts March 30, 2015 @ 5:30-8:30 p.m.  Assignments will be made once class registration is finished. 

Register Here

Class 1:  March 30
Reading Assignment: Critique Chapter & One Year Marriage by J. Lauck  

Workshop Readers: Everyone
This is a 1250 words total. Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.  Bring five copies please.  

Homework:  Chart scenes and summary/exposition in One Year Marriage and Thunderstruck.  Bring to class April 6.  

Class 2:  April 6
Reading Assignment: Thunderstruck by Elizabeth McCracken
Workshop Readers: Karen, Susan, Janice, Kelly, Shauna
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins. Bring 14 copies please.

Class 3: April 13
 
Reading Assignment: Victory Lap by George Saunders 

Workshop Readers: Caitlin, Barbara, Allison, Kate
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins. Bring 15 copies please.

Class 4:  April 20
Reading Assignment: Scene Progressions by Robert McKee

Workshop Readers: Jamyelese, Katherine, Sherold, Robin
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.   Bring 15 copies please.

Class 5: April 27

Reading Assignment:  Awaiting Orders by Tobia's Wolf

Workshop Readers:  Everyone
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins. Bring 5 copies please



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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesday AM Bones of Storytelling - 3 spots left


You gave us so much great information during these short 5 weeks. Your input in class was a huge help and it gave me a lot of solid insight into how to build a good story. I especially liked the class you taught on structure, your W diagram showed me very clearly how poorly laid out my plot was. Yikes! I have a lot of work to do and am busy re-writing my manuscript. ~ Barbara




We have begun spring registration now and begin a new term Wed., April 1st 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.
  




Apr. 1, Class 1:  Concept &Theme

Apr. 8, Class 2:  Characterization with handouts/The Antagonist

Apr. 15, Class 3:  Setting and Character

Apr. 22, Class 4:  Structure & Plot

Apr. 29, Class 5:  Your project on the W structure chart

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

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, March 19, 2015

Thursday PM Craft Class: Wait List

"Thank you so much - you are a wonderful instructor, you should know this as many times as you've heard it. As a very old teacher I love your touch with people." ~ Helen

This page is for all the students in the PM Craft Class.  If you are interested, Click Here.

This is an approval based class.  You need to check with me before signing up.  Please send 1) References from previous workshops 2) A representative sample of your writing 3) Your background as a writer to jennifer@jenniferlauck.com.  I also like writers in 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 


Spring Series (Begins March 19th)
We will be charting The Reader and reading Ordinary People

Class 1: Mar. 19 @ 5:30 - 8:30 
Additional Reading: Wrap Discussion of McKee Study
Readers: Sara, Elyse, Bill, Barbara

Class 2: Apr. 2 @ 5:30 - 8:30 p.m
Additional Reading:  The Reader, chart arc and subplots
Readers: Cloie, Becky, Nancy, Barbara, Marla

Class 3:  Apr. 9 @ 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Additional Reading:  TBA
Readers: Marilyn, Audrey, Sara, Elyse, Bill
 
Class 4:  Apr. 16 @ 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Additional Reading:  Discuss Ordinary People

Readers:  Carrie, Cloie, Becky, Nancy

Class 5:  Apr. 23 @ 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Additional Reading:  TBA 
Readers: Carrie, Marla, Marilyn, Audrey

 

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 - 2 spots left

"Thank you so much - you are a wonderful instructor, you should know this as many times as you've heard it. As a very old teacher I love your touch with people." ~ Helen

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 nine times, five via 1250 word  submission, four via the 500 word essay. We will read a selection of literary essays as well, discuss craft and style, and will hone your ability to write scene. 

My goal, in this class, is to teach dialogue, sensory details, character development, and story flow.  It is also my goal to provide core teachings about plot, structure and character. 


Required Text:  Tell it Slant by Brenda Miller 


NEW TERM BEGINS:  
Class 1:  Apr. 2
Reading Assignment: 2 pg. essay by Jess Walter and critique advice (Emailed)
Print out:  8 step essay  (emailed)
Workshop Readers: Everyone
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.  
.
Class 2:  Apr. 9
Two Pg. Essay Assignment (500 words) Prompt: The Last Minute
This is a 500 word essay, on the topic of your choice, that tells a whole story with a beginning, middle and end. 
Reading Assignment: The Race by Sharon Olds

Workshop Readers: Sue Gano, Marie G., Rosemary K., Emily
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.  

Class 3: Apr. 16
Reading Assignment: Showing vs. Telling/Scene/The One Year Marriage by J.Lauck

Workshop Readers:  Kate, Kelly,Tiffany
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins. 

Class 4: Apr. 23
Two Pg. Essay Assignment (500 words) Prompt: Parenting
This is a 500 word essay, on the topic of your choice, that tells a whole story with a beginning, middle and end. 
Reading Assignment: Thunderstruck by McCracken
Workshop Readers: Sue Gano, Marie G., Rosemary K., Emily
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.  

Class 5: Apr. 30
Reading Assignment: Sticks by George Saunders
Workshop Readers:  Kate, Kelly, Tiffany
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins. 


Reference texts:  Click on Links or Order Books
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


SUGGESTED PROGRAM:  Scrivener (free download for 30 days). 

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Wednesday, March 04, 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. Wow, can't wait to dig in and do the work." ~ Michael T. 
 
 
We begin our Spring term on May 7 at 5:30-7:30 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.




Spring Series (Begins May 7th )

Apr. 1, Class 1:  Concept &Theme

Apr. 8, Class 2:  Characterization with handouts/The Antagonist

Apr. 15, Class 3:  Setting and Character

Apr. 22, Class 4:  Structure & Plot

Apr. 29, Class 5:  Your project on the W structure chart


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

Shadows Beneath by Brandon Sanderson
(For sci-fi writer's)  Also see: Writing Excuses

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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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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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Beach Retreat


August 21-24, 2015



This workshop is an annual event on the Oregon Coast and is open to a dozen writers.  It's a 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

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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