Hands-On Writing Workshops

Hands-On Writing Workshops

If you’re interested in being on the notification list for upcoming online courses or other workshops, please contact chris@christinewalker.net

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

HANDS-ON: INVENTING CHARACTERS

Stories invite us into other peoples’ lives. Whether real or invented, characters feel “real” to the reader when they are written with informed imagination and from the senses. Vivid characters live in our hearts and minds beyond the pages of our favorite books.

 “Imagining what it is like to be someone other than oneself is at the core of our humanity. It is the essence of compassion, and it is the beginning of morality.”—Ian McEwan, author of “Atonement”

In this workshop, we will:

• Get to know your characters—inside and out

• Care about them so that readers may care, too

• Give them desire, choice, and action

• Find out where they’ve been, where they are going, and why

• Create “scrapbooks” and other guides to make characters come alive

• Write and share passages of prose featuring vivid characters.

• Examine when to show, when to tell

 Who for: Writers of fiction, memoir and narrative nonfiction

Materials: Imaginative material (an open mind for inventing and your writing-in-progress featuring a character(s) that you want to develop) and tangibles (paper, pen pencil, markers; scissors; glue stick; magazines, photos or desktop prints for cutouts).

Contact

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HANDS-ON: SETTING THE SCENE

We read to be elsewhere or more “there” than where we are. Whether real or invented, place must feel “real” on the page so that readers may enter and navigate the literary space. Scenes should ground the reader in time and place, be believable, and provide pacing and progress for the story.

 “The writer operates at a crossroad where time and place and eternity somehow meet. His [her] problem is to find that location.”—Flannery O’Connor, Mystery and Manners

In this workshop, we will:

• Get to know your places and scenes—inside and out

• Care about them so that readers may care, too

• Give them orientation, dimension, and purpose

• Find out where they are and why they matter

• Create maps, visuals, and other guides to make places and scenes come alive

• Write and share passages of prose featuring vivid places and scenes.

• Examine when to show, when to tell

Who for: Writers of fiction, memoir and narrative nonfiction

Materials: Imaginative material (an open mind for inventing and your writing-in-progress featuring settings and scenes that you want to develop) and tangibles (paper, pen, pencil, markers; scissors; glue stick; magazines, photos or desktop prints for cutouts).

Contact

HANDS-ON: BUILDING STORY

Stories are in our DNA. We’re curious to know what happened and why. Whether real or fictional, stories have power to move us to laughter and tears and change us. As writers, we must interest readers in turning the page to the next and next.

“I behave toward history like the stage designer who constructs an abstract set out of the few items indispensable to the action.” —Milan Kundera, The Art of the Novel

In this workshop, we will:

• Get to know your story and where it’s going

• Discover your story’s essentials

• Construct tension on the page and strengthen plot

• Relate tension and plot to psychological underpinnings

• Create plot charts and other visuals for organizing and building story

• Write and share passage of prose featuring tension and plot points

• Examine when to show, when to tell

Who for: Writers of fiction, memoir and narrative nonfiction

Materials: Imaginative material (an open mind for inventing and work-in-progress needing more reasons for readers to turn the page) and tangibles (paper, pen, pencil, markers, index cards).

Contact

FACILITATOR: Christine Walker is an artist and writer, author of “A Painter’s Garden: Cultivating the Creative Life,” and co-author and illustrator of “Wooleycat’s Musical Theater” children’s book, songs, and apps. She has an MFA in Writing and Literature in Fiction from Bennington College and an MA in Interdisciplinary Creative Arts from San Francisco State Universit . An advocate of reading good literature as a pathway to writing well, Christine is the creator of Read to Write Books fiction craft courses and blog. She uses hands-on visual approaches in writing, teaching, and as a visual facilitator. www.readtowritebooks.com

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www.christinewalker.net

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