Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

From Idea to Story workshop in Manzanita on May 3

Written By: Jessica Morrell - Apr• 02•14

exotic skyscapeFrom Idea to Story

May 3, 9-4:30

The Center for Contemplative Arts, Manzanita, Oregon

Taught by Jessica Morrell

Writers have long grappled with the problem of taking a flash of inspiration through the marathon process of completing a finished work. That flash is your premise. But a premise on its own is flimsy, must be build it up and need the perfect story people to bring it to life until it becomes a compelling, awe-inspiring tale of… whatever it is you long to tell.

This workshop, for writers of all levels, will address key issues that must be confronted if you are going to assemble a myriad of pieces into a seamless whole. These issues include finding a shape for your story; how to treat plot and character as interdependent; how to avoid typical pitfalls when working. We’ll discuss forces and fears at play such as the fear or inability to finish, which is all too common. We’ll cover the basics of plotting, or if you’re writing a memoir, choosing the right elements and order for it. Participants can bring a brief outline of their plot and first three paragraphs.

typewriterA006   We’ll also cover:

  •    Determining if your premise is a true compass that will keep the story on track.
  •    The basic underpinnings of stories—the anatomy of scenes and the anchor scenes that hold it together.
  •   How believable, important stakes power the story.
  • Strategies for handling pacing anxiety and the urge to pad instead of plot.
  •  Perfectionism, mistakes, and daring to make them.
  •  Making tough choices about what to leave in and what to leave out.
  •  How stories and endings are based on the protagonist’s deepest needs and fears.
  •  How stories contain meaningful themes and are metaphors for life.

 Jessica Morrell knows writing from both sides of the desk as a developmental editor and author of Writing Out the Storm; Between the Lines, Master the Subtle Elements of Fiction Writing; Voices From the Street; The Writer’s I Ching ; Bullies, Bastards & Bitches, How to Write the Bad Guys of Fiction and Thanks, But This Isn’t For Us: A (Sort of) Compassionate Guide to Why Your Writing is Being Rejected and the upcoming No Ordinary Days: The Seasons, Cycles and Elements of Writing. She also contributes to anthologies and The Writer and Writer’s Digest magazines.  Jessica has taught writers since 1991 and coordinates three writing conferences. You’ll learn more than you thought possible in her workshop.

To register: The cost is $80. Payment is required to register. Mail a check to Jessica Morrell, P.O. Box 820141, Portland, OR 97282-1141. PayPal also accepted.

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