Master the fundamentals of dramatic storytelling while eliminating the dead wood that drags down your prose.
Your Instructor: Craig Clevenger (author of The Contortionist's Handbook and Dermaphoria)
Where: Online — Available everywhere!
When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here
Enrollment: Limited to 20 Students
This four-week online course will give you the structure and the tools to take your writing to a new level. Craig's exclusive lectures have been shaped through years of experience and road-tested through previous intensive classes. These are "road" scholar dissertations that run into the thousands of words but are so engaging and fun to read, you'll be amazed -- each lecture charged with wisdom, experience, and insight into the writer’s craft, and carried along by the energy and wit of an author who practices what he preaches.
What’s more… each of Craig’s lectures provides a handful of unique and specific tools that function together as an interlocking set. You'll get a new edge as we build a genuine toolbox of functional synergistic ideas that work as a system to strengthen your prose…making it clean, uncomplicated, and effective, while preserving and enabling subtle nuances of voice or style. You'll learn that style is not synonymous with bloat. And you'll get that realization not just intellectually, but in practice.
Finally, this is your chance to learn directly from one of our most popular and sought-out authors and master teachers.
What This Class Covers
Week One: “This is a Bloke You Know,” Status and Verbal Transactions
This is material adapted from a particular method of improvisational theater. We discuss “status” as distinct from “motivation”; not as who the characters are in their social standing, but who they are by virtue of their behavior. This lesson focuses almost exclusively on dialogue, and is very likely going to be new territory for most of you. It was originally one of the later lectures in past courses, but was such a brainload that it warranted detailed follow-up discussion. Mark and I thought it would be best to throw everyone into the deep end from the start, this time around. All of this will be clearer, a little later this afternoon.
There's also a case study appended to the lecture, specifically a dissection of two fairly lengthy passages of dialogue from the film Sexy Beast.
Week Two: “What Would Lou Do?” Status and Non-Verbal Transactions
A slightly less meaty follow-up to the very meaty week one lecture. It’s less about dialogue, and more about all of those fidgets, twitches, gulps that your characters do when they’re not talking, as well as championing the much-maligned use of “said.”
Week Three: “Shit Happens,” Where Stories Come From
The first two weeks are about the tiniest components of story telling. We don’t zoom out to the larger issue of plot until week three because I like to present the ups and downs of the story’s plot as a macro version of the ups and downs of characters’ dialogue. With the first two weeks behind us, we start looking at the basic building blocks of stories. This is most often where writers get mired in creative quicksand. Well, at least I do.
Week Four: “The Weight of Each Word”
This is where you learn why it takes yours truly five bloody years to finish a third novel and in that time has written only a handful of short stories to speak of. In week four, we’ll learn to pull apart each and every sentence, parse it word for word, and in general fully experience life as only one can with a crippling case of literary OCD. Week four is my favorite. It may not be yours.
Goals Of This Class
- Harness the power of Status Play to create dynamic scenes
- Transform your dialogue into a microcosm of Dramatic Conflict
- Learn the crucial balance of verbal and non-verbal exchanges
- Explore and create Events - the building blocks of your story
- Overcome the most common problem for all writers: What happens next?
- Master self-editing skills as you examine: The weight of each word
Video Preview Of Class
LitReactor offers a unique approach to a writing education: You study what you want, when you want, at your own pace. We bring in veteran authors and industry professionals to host classes covering a wide range of topics in an online environment that’s interactive and flexible. You get detailed feedback on your work and take part in discussions in a judgement-free zone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced writer, our workshops are about working together to achieve your writing goals.
Where do classes take place?
Entirely online. So, anywhere you have Internet access.
Are there certain times when the whole class needs to "meet" online?
Nope. Our students come from all over the globe. Everything is posted online and accessible 24/7. (We do occasionally schedule phone chats, but try to reach a consensus on timing.)
What does a typical class consist of?
It varies, but nearly all our classes include weekly lectures, homework assignments, peer reviews, critiques from instructors, and discussion forums.
How much experience do you need to take a class?
Beginner or pro, everyone is welcome. We encourage all skill levels.
Got more questions? Click here for an extended FAQ.
And click here to explore a sample class that shows our layout and features.