A blog about writing and all things story…
December 6th & 7th TWO Clark Kohanek Workshops ~ Oregon Willamette Writers at the Cynthia Whitcom House.
Session I – 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Premise: The Writer’s Power Tool
A premise is a declaration of belief. It says, or at least implies, that one specific thing leads to or causes another specific thing:
With love, anything is possible
Faith can work miracles
Trust in yourself and you’re sure to succeed.
In story, this belief is expressed through a THEME – love, innocence, revenge, pride, war, etc. However, for premise to work as a writing tool, a DRAMATIC ISSUE must juxtapose the theme creating CONFLICT, and thus a story question is born.
To get at the premise, all you need is to ask yourself about the specific message attached to the theme (gratitude, independence, love) in each case. What kind of gratitude are we talking about? What kind of love? What value judgment do people make about theme? What do your characters do about the theme in your story?
Session II – 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
The Emotional Beat Sheet
The Emotional Beat Sheet is based on the premise of the story, juxtaposed with the character’s journey, and guided by the comment the writer is trying to make about the human experience.
The Emotional Beat Sheet is a wonderful investigative and story-driving tool for writing screenplays or novels. The Emotional Beat Sheet helps accomplish this through a series of emotional transitions, reflections and turning points that tease out hidden conditions and constructs altering awareness of issues in the process that compels the character forward.
The Emotional Beat sheet tracks and manages the story by clearly defining emotional set-ups and pay-offs, reversals, betrayals, achievements.
$55/session; $95 for both. Lunch is on your own.
BIG NEWS !!!!!
Two professional actors Stephen Butchko and Deirdre Lyons from Los Angeles will join us on Sunday, December 7th, to read scenes from Clark’s December 6th workshop participants. Stephen and Deirdre starred in Clark’s award winning short, Good Behavior.
If you have a 2 – 5 page scene with critical beats or transitions that are unclear or just plain not working, submit it by 5:00 pm on Saturday, December 6th so our actors have a chance to make notes.
These scenes would be from works in progress, as we won’t have time to turn material around the same day as the Saturday workshop.
We’ll run 20 minute slots on Sunday, the 7th, giving an opportunity for the writer to debrief the actors, to answer questions they might have, and to let it rip.
Then we’ll have time after the scene to discuss. Ask questions. The actors may have questions, and offer feedback. Depending on the number of participants, we may go from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If you want to participate in the Sunday scene reading, we ask a contribution of $20 per scene (if you’re in the Saturday workshop), or $35/scene if you’re participating only on Sunday (max. two scenes per writer). We’ll have video equipment set up and recording these readings for posterity (and your own personal enlightenment). If you haven’t signed up yet for Dec 6th, click here.
To top the day off, at 4:00, or whatever time we wrap up, we’re going to screen Clark’s film, “Good Behavior”, the BEST SHORT award-winner of the 2014 Temecula Valley International Film Festival.
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