Learn to use humor when writing about traumatic experiences to create powerful scenes and stories in this four-week class with memoirist Sean Davis.
Your Instructor: Sean Davis, veteran and memoirist of THE WAX BULLET WAR
Where: Online — Available everywhere!
When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here
Enrollment: 16 students
Do you want to write something powerful that readers won’t forget?
Having the reader experience a single emotion is difficult, but when you use humor as a foil, your prose will stand out from others. Whatever story you want to tell, this workshop—Writing Through Trauma—will get you started.
This class will look at works by Vonnegut, Heller, Orwell, and examine why they remain popular, generation after generation. You’ll also look at contemporary works by writers such as Ronson, Palahniuk, and others.
Whether your end goal is self-publishing, e-publishing, or traditional publishing, this course will help you hone your skills at influencing the emotions of your readers. Making them feel happy, mad, or angry isn’t enough; it’s the laugh-cry moments that have the power to stick in people’s minds.
Instructor Sean Davis is an artist, writer, teacher, and veteran of the Iraq War, where he was critically injured. He experienced an abusive childhood and he’s written about all of it. His new book, The Wax Bullet War, which details his struggle in returning from war, is out now in the bookstores.
So what’s your story?
* This class will include a conference call so that students can interact with Sean in a more intimate setting.
Class starts August 25—and there's still time to sign up!
What This Class Covers
Lecture One – Using Your Experience
We have all lived through shattering experiences. We need to come to terms with it and decide to use that trauma as a learning experience. More than that, we can use the trauma to inspire people and hopefully change the way they think. Trauma is a matter of perspective. Since the experience has already passed, the writer needs to pick which angle to approach the story (words, themes, metaphors) to use when writing about it. Start thinking about the focus of your final project.
What point are you trying to get across? Brainstorm on the message you want to get across and create a one to two page outline.
Lecture Two – How to use Prose to Influence Emotion in your Reader
Robert Frost told us, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” We are going to examine how opposing emotions, contrasting descriptions, and divergent words can help influence the emotional state of your reader, and by doing so, create a powerful scene and story.
You’ll write a scene – a page or two – to explore how to use opposite sides of the spectrum to make a point more powerful.
Lecture Three – Descriptive Narration
Now we’ll work on prose. Avoid “stage direction” at all costs and use every sentence to advance the story and add to the exposition in a way the reader will appreciate.
The words you use to get your point across are easily as important as the point you’re trying to get across. Combine your last writing assignment on timing with your new powers of descriptive narration.
Lecture Four – The Point
We'll build on everything we’ve covered so far and focus it into your point. You’ll put it all together. Sean will be available through phone and/or email for hands-on instruction.
You'll write your story.
Goals Of This Class
- Use the hardship you’ve lived through for a purpose.
- Find a unique and powerful way to write prose using contrasting images and emotions.
- Discover the correct way to use humor as a foil to tragedy and trauma.
- Decide on our focus and use it to influence our readers emotional state.
- Write a draft, get feedback, and share with others.
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.