Jennifer Lauck's Blog

January 8, 2015

This is a workshop based, lab style writing class where you learn how to hone your lived experience into a well told story.  Since we are culling our teaching from literature, fiction writers are welcome and will learn as much about craft as the memoir writer.  You will be reading your work out loud, creating new work from prompts, and studying essay's, short stories, movies (for structure).  I'll also be incorporating great advice from other writers including Debra Qwartney, Bernard Cooper, Jane Smiley, Robert McKee and Stephen King. 

This is a terrific class for the writer who has had some experience with their craft and needs a community, as well as mentorship.  You will leave class inspired and energized. 

NOTE:  Former students of The Bones of Storytelling and AM Craft Class will be very happy here as well.

Starts February 2, 2015 @ 5:30-8:30 p.m. 

Register Here







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Published on January 08, 2015 20:55 • 7 views
"Thank you so much - you are a wonderful instructor, you should know this as many times as you've heard it. As a very old teacher I love your touch with people." ~ Helen

This page is for students in the AM Craft Class at The Attic. We are in the midst of taking registration for Winter Term. We begin Jan. 15th at 10:30 a.m. If you are signed up, check out the schedule Virtual Option.

Class Detail:  You will read aloud nine times, five via 2500 word  submission, four via the 500 word essay. We will read a selection of literary essays as well, discuss craft and style, and will hone your ability to write scene. 

My goal, in this class, is to teach dialogue, sensory details, character development, and story flow.  It is also my goal to provide core teachings about plot, structure and character. 

Winter Term:

Jan. 15- Class 1
Reading Assignment: Critique Chapter, 2 page stories by Jess Walters

Workshop Readers: Susan G, Courtney, Joy, Karen,
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.  Bring 17 copies please. 

Jan. 22: Class 2
Reading Assignment:
Mini Essay in 8 Steps Handout  (email)
Making Distinctions by Hemley (dropbox)

Workshop Readers: Suzi, Rosemary, Robin, Susan Riggs
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.  Bring 17 copies please. 

Jan. 29:  Class 3 
Two Pg. Essay Assignment (500 words) Prompt: Quirks
This is a 500 word essay, on the topic of your choice, that tells a whole story with a beginning, middle and end. 
 
Reading Assignment: Sticks by George Saunders (dropbox)

Workshop Readers: Lori, Laura Green, Tadimdia, Sarah,
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.  Bring 17 copies please. 

Feb. 5: Class 4 
Reading Assignment: Hemley, Focusing on Real Life (dropbox)

Workshop Readers: Emily, Patti, Jeanne, Shauna
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.  Bring 17 copies please. 

Feb. 12: Class 5
Two Pg. Essay Assignment (500 words) Prompt: Pre-Verbal Memory.
This is a 500 word essay, on the topic of your choice, that tells a whole story with a beginning, middle and end. 
 
Reading Assignment:  Beard Preface (dropbox)
This is a 500 word essay, on the topic of your choice, that tells a whole story with a beginning, middle and end. 
 
Workshop Readers:  Susan G, Courtney, Joy, Karen,
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.   Bring 17 copies please. 

Feb. 19: Class 6
Reading Assignment: Showing vs. Telling (dropbox)

Workshop Readers:  Suzi, Rosemary, Robin, Susan Riggs
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.   Bring 17 copies please. 

Feb. 26: Class 7
Two Pg. Essay Assignment (500 words) Prompt: In a Hurry
This is a 500 word essay, on the topic of your choice, that tells a whole story with a beginning, middle and end. 

Reading Assignment: The Race by Sharon Olds (dropbox)

Workshop Readers: Lori, Laura Green, Tadimdia, Sarah,
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.   Bring 17 copies please. 

Mar. 5: Class 8
Reading Assignment:  Chapter Three, Rules of Inheritance by Bidwell Smith (dropbox)

Workshop Readers: Emily, Patti, Jeanne, Shauna
This is a 1250 word submission.  Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman with one inch margins.   Bring 17 copies please.  

Required Text:  Tell it Slant by Brenda Miller    


Reference texts:  Click on Links or Order Books
Keep it Short by Danny Heitman (Click on link)
Debra Gwartney on Memoir  (click on link) 
Philip Lopate on Writing Personal Essays  (click on link)
Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks
Screenwriters Problem Solver by Syd Fields
Story by Robert McKee


SUGGESTED PROGRAM:  Scrivener (free download for 30 days). 
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Published on January 08, 2015 06:23 • 4 views

September 17, 2014


You gave us so much great information during these short 5 weeks. Your input in class was a huge help and it gave me a lot of solid insight into how to build a good story. I especially liked the class you taught on structure, your W diagram showed me very clearly how poorly laid out my plot was. Yikes! I have a lot of work to do and am busy re-writing my manuscript. ~ Barbara


Welcome to the page for participants in the Fall, Wednesday AM Bones of Storytelling Class.  We begin Sept. 17th at 11 a.m., and will soon be taking registration for winter.  

My goal in these ten weeks is to teach concept, theme, plot, structure, character and setting AND, for you to walk away with a plan for writing a solid first & second draft.  Everyone who takes this class loves it.
  



Sept. 17 ~ Class 1:   Concept, What If Questions & Theme Discussion  

Homework: 
Spend about 40 minutes writing as many What If Questions as you can on your project.  50-80 is about normal.  Samples sent via email.  Balance out your theme as shown on pg. 125Look for your plot handout, print, read, bring.  This is the first seven chapters of Booker.
Sept. 24 ~ Class 2:  Plot Discussion

Oct. 1 ~ Class 3:  Structure Discussion

Oct. 8 ~ Class 4:  Character Discussion

Oct. 15 ~ Class 5:  Setting Discussion

Oct. 22 ~ Class 6:  Cynthia, Mayanna, Celia


Oct. 19 ~ Class 7:  Sherrey, Hanah, Amber

Nov. 5 ~ Class 8:  James, Lisa, Robyn


Nov. 12 ~ Class 9:  William, Susan, Gretchen


Nov. 19 - Class 10:  Joel, Suzanne, Sarah


Reference texts: 
Story by Robert McKee (required)
Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker (required)
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks (required)

Tell it Slant by Brenda Miller
Screenwriters Problem Solver by Syd Fields
On Writing Well by William Zinsser
The Art of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri
PROGRAM:  Scrivener (free download for 30 days). 

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Published on September 17, 2014 15:38 • 17 views
"I'm so happy I signed up for this class. You have blown me away with your enthusiasm and passion. Wow, can't wait to dig in and do the work." ~ Michael T. 
 
Welcome to the page for participants in the Fall, Wednesday PM Bones of Storytelling Class.  We begin Sept. 17th at 5:30-7:30 and are in the midst of taking registration.  Click Here.

My goal in these ten weeks is to teach concept, theme, plot, structure, character and setting AND, for you to walk away with a plan for writing a solid first & second draft.  Everyone who takes this class loves it.



  
Sept. 17 ~ Class 1:   Concept, "What If" Questions & Theme Discussion  

Homework: 
Spend about 40 minutes writing as many What If Questions as you can on your project.  50-80 is about normal.  Samples sent via email.  Balance out your theme as shown on pg. 125Look for your plot handout, print, read, bring.  This is the first seven chapters of Booker.
Sept. 24 ~ Class 2:  Plot Discussion

Oct. 1 ~ Class 3:  Structure Discussion

Oct. 8 ~ Class 4:  Character Discussion

Oct. 15 ~ Class 5:  Setting Discussion

Oct. 22 ~ Class 6:  Dee Dee, Bill


Oct. 19 ~ Class 7:  Kathy, Carla

Nov. 5 ~ Class 8:  Andy, Debbie


Nov. 12 ~ Class 9:  Lisa, Emma


Nov. 19 - Class 10:  Margaret & Party


Reference texts: Story by Robert McKee (required)
Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker (required)
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks (required)

Tell it Slant by Brenda Miller
Screenwriters Problem Solver by Syd Fields
On Writing Well by William Zinsser
The Art of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri
PROGRAM:  Scrivener (free download for 30 days). 

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Published on September 17, 2014 06:06 • 5 views

September 11, 2014

"Thank you so much - you are a wonderful instructor, you should know this as many times as you've heard it. As a very old teacher I love your touch with people." ~ Helen

This page is for all the students in the AM Craft Class at The Attic. We are in the midst of taking registration and are nearly full!  We begin on Sept. 18th at 10:30 a.m. Get your spot OR get on the wait list.  If you are already signed up, get a jump by checking out the schedule (under construction) and the recommended reading.  Virtual Option, click here.

Class Detail:  Writers pre-create and share a two page essay with a beginning/middle and end to hone your craft skills weekly.  3 to 4 writers will also workshop 5 pages each week and that schedule will be posted by Sept. 10.  Last, each class has a craft teaching including an essay you will pre-read to discuss. 

My goal, in this class, is to teach you all I know about crafting fine scenes via the incorporation of dialogue, sensory details, character development and forward momentum of action.  It is also my intention to give you basic information about plot, structure and character, from a readers view point, so you can better shape your ideas to read the reader.


Sept. 18 - Class 1
Reading Assignment: Jess Walter Two Page Essay (Sent via email 8/21)
                                       Critique Chapter (Sent Via Email 8/21)
Two Pg. Essay Assignment (500 words)
Readers: Savannah, Courtney, Joy, Susan G.

Sept. 25: Class 2
Reading Assignment: Ch1. Eduard Tulane (Drop Box)
Readers: Nicole, Marlo, Sandra, Janice

Oct. 2:  Class 3 
Two Pg. Essay Assignment (500 words)
Readers: Natalia, Kim, Susan S., Charlotte

Oct. 9: Class 4
Reading Assignment: The Fine Art of Sighing by Bernard Cooper
Readers: EVERYONE

Oct. 16: Class 5
Two Pg. Essay Assignment (500 words)
Readers: Savannah, Courtney, Joy, Susan G.

Oct. 23: Class 6
Reading Assignment: Ch. 7, Claire Bidwell Smith, Rules of Inheritance
Readers: Nicole, Marlo, Sandra, Janice

Oct. 30: Class 7
Two Pg. Essay Assignment (500 words)
Readers: Natalia, Kim, Susan S., Charlotte

Nov. 6: Class 8
Reading Assignment: Burl's by Bernard Cooper
Readers: EVERYONE

Required Text:
Tell it Slant by Brenda Miller    


Reference texts:  Click on Links or Order Books
Keep it Short by Danny Heitman (Click on link)
Debra Gwartney on Memoir  (click on link) 
Philip Lopate on Writing Personal Essays  (click on link)
Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks
Screenwriters Problem Solver by Syd Fields
Story by Robert McKee


SUGGESTED PROGRAM:  Scrivener (free download for 30 days). 
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Published on September 11, 2014 06:23 • 7 views

September 6, 2014


You gave us so much great information during these short 5 weeks. Your input in class was a huge help and it gave me a lot of solid insight into how to build a good story. I especially liked the class you taught on structure, your W diagram showed me very clearly how poorly laid out my plot was. Yikes! I have a lot of work to do and am busy re-writing my manuscript. ~ Barbara


Welcome to the page for participants in the Fall, Wednesday AM Bones of Storytelling Class.  We begin Sept. 17th at 11 a.m., and are in the midst of taking registration.  Click Here.  If you are signed up, get a jump on this terrific class by taking a look at the required books listed at the bottom of this page. 

My goal in these ten weeks is to teach concept, theme, plot, structure, character and setting AND, for you to walk away with a plan for writing a solid first & second draft.  Everyone who takes this class loves it.
  

Sept. 17 ~ Class 1:   Concept, What If Questions & Theme Discussion  

Class 2:  Plot Discussion

Class 3:  Structure Discussion

Class 4:  Character Discussion

Class 5:  Setting Discussion

Class 6-10:  Workshop full projects- TBA

Reference texts: 
Story by Robert McKee (required)
Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker (required)
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks (required)

Tell it Slant by Brenda Miller
Screenwriters Problem Solver by Syd Fields
On Writing Well by William Zinsser
The Art of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri
PROGRAM:  Scrivener (free download for 30 days). 
Punctuation Basics (link--print please) 
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Published on September 06, 2014 18:09 • 8 views
"Thank you so much - you are a wonderful instructor, you should know this as many times as you've heard it. As a very old teacher I love your touch with people." ~ Helen

This page is for all the students in the AM Craft Class at The Attic. We are in the midst of taking registration and are nearly full!  We begin on Sept. 18th at 10:30 a.m. Get your spot OR get on the wait list.  If you are already signed up, get a jump by checking out the schedule (under construction) and the recommended reading.  Virtual Option, click here.

Class Detail:  Writers pre-create and share a two page essay with a beginning/middle and end to hone your craft skills weekly.  3 to 4 writers will also workshop 5 pages each week and that schedule will be posted by Sept. 10.  Last, each class has a craft teaching including an essay you will pre-read to discuss. 

My goal, in this class, is to teach you all I know about crafting fine scenes via the incorporation of dialogue, sensory details, character development and forward momentum of action.  It is also my intention to give you basic information about plot, structure and character, from a readers view point, so you can better shape your ideas to read the reader.


Sept. 18 - Class 1
Reading Assignment: Jess Walter Two Page Essay (Sent via email 8/21)
                                       Critique Chapter (Sent Via Email 8/21)
Two Pg. Essay Assignment (500 words)
Readers: Celia, Courtney, Joy, Susan G.

Sept. 25: Class 2
Reading Assignment: Ch1. Eduard Tulane (Drop Box)
Readers: Savannah, Nicole, Marlo, Sandra, Janice

Oct. 2:  Class 3 
Two Pg. Essay Assignment (500 words)
Readers: Natalia, Terri, Kim, Susan S., Charlotte

Oct. 9: Class 4
Reading Assignment: The Fine Art of Sighing by Bernard Cooper
Readers: EVERYONE

Oct. 16: Class 5
Two Pg. Essay Assignment (500 words)
Readers: Celia, Courtney, Joy, Susan G.

Oct. 23: Class 6
Reading Assignment: Ch. 7, Claire Bidwell Smith, Rules of Inheritance
Readers: Savannah, Nicole, Marlo, Sandra, Janice

Oct. 30: Class 7
Two Pg. Essay Assignment (500 words)
Readers: Natalia, Terri, Kim, Susan S., Charlotte

Nov. 6: Class 8
Reading Assignment: Burl's by Bernard Cooper
Readers: EVERYONE

Required Text:
Tell it Slant by Brenda Miller    


Reference texts:  Click on Links or Order Books
Philip Lopate on Writing Personal Essays
Keep it Short by Danny Heitman
Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks
Screenwriters Problem Solver by Syd Fields
Story by Robert McKee


SUGGESTED PROGRAM:  Scrivener (free download for 30 days). 
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Published on September 06, 2014 18:09 • 13 views

August 31, 2014

We talk a lot about scenes in the craft classes.  It mystifies and perplexes us.  Many are so used to the busy patter of their thinking, they mistake that for a scene or think they can write:

Jerry walked into the room and sat down.  (Two passive verbs by the way) .... and then go into a long run of back story, exposition and never get back to the fact of Jerry in the room, or for that matter tell us what Jerry looks like, moves like, etc. 

A scene is a moment in time, when something happens.  One moment.  One thing.  It's active.  It moves on action.  You address what is happening in that moment and if you give back story...IF...it's about what is happening in THAT moment with the character.  Context...brief.  If you give exposition or go into internal spaces, again, it's brief.  A hint.  A flavor.

This poem by the truly brilliant Sherman Alexie does it all.  Look at his description of what happens and the percentage that is his own thinking in his own head. 

Crow Justice by Sherman Alexie

As I pump gas, a flock of crows passes
Overhead. Then another flock arrives,
And another, and a third, fourth, and fifth.
Jesus, the sky itself is made of crows,  (this is voice)
And they’re louder than the nearby freeway.  (5 lines of pure description of the moment)
Could this be a family reunion? 
Maybe these dark birds are planning for war.  (this is contemplation, his thinking)
Then, with one great hush, the flock goes silent,
And separates into living currents,
And forms winged rivers around a mid-air
Island of three quickly deserted crows.
Why? I don’t know at first, but then one bird,  (writer enters again with a tiny question) Much larger than the rest, breaks from the flock,
Quickly followed by other large, fast birds,
And leads a mass attack on the lost crows
And snap-snap-snaps their necks, and as they fall,
Tears them in half. As the crow-pieces hit
Hot pavement, the flock, as one, celebrates,
Yes, they celebrate, And I realize (he could have used description here to show me, reader, what crow celebration looks like, sounds like, but okay...we forgive this because, well, he's Sherman Alexie)
That I saw a public execution.
A murder of crows, indeed, but what crimes,
Among the crows, are punishable by
Death? I can’t begin to understand crow
Morality, Hey, I don’t want to try,  (now his summation of the the moment, in his own head)
But justice, like time, flies and flies and flies.


Look at the pacing, the percentages here.  25 lines.  9 lines are his thoughts in reaction to the moment he's shown us.  And only one is about "life."  That is a perfect way to gauge your own story telling.  9 out of 25 is about 1/3 of internal, the rest is external and pure reportage of ONE moment.


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Published on August 31, 2014 10:29 • 6 views

August 27, 2014


August 21-24, 2015

This workshop is an annual event on the Oregon Coast and is open to a dozen writers.  It's a fun, inspiring, power workshop with lots of writing and lots of learning.  Writers come from around the world and end up bonding to become lifetime friends. Don't miss it. Plus, Jennifer will be breaking out her most advanced interpretation of the story pyramid, giving much needed insights about plot, structure, character and scene. 

There will be two days of intensive teaching, from 10-4 with a break for lunch and two days of broken teaching, in the AM and the PM, leaving you time for writing/revision and for resting your mind as you stroll the wide, long beach of Manzanita or hike the narrow, steep trails up Neakahnie Mountain.   You will also have private meetings with Jennifer on your project and will be workshopping with the entire group!

DATES: August 21-24
TIMES: Aug. 21 &23, 10-1 & 4-6:30
Aug. 22 &24 10-4 p.m. (Snacks, tea, coffee provided)
COST: $375.00

Payment Options Full Tuition $375.00 USD Deposit $150.00 USD Late Tuition $475.00 USD ADDL DETAILS: You are responsible for your travel and your accommodations. Great places can be recommended, just ask me at jenniferlauck@gmail.com.

SpindriftSunset SurfOcean InnInn at ManzanitaCoast CabinsSunset Vacation Rentals * THERE ARE NO REFUNDS ON DEPOSITS OR WORKSHOP TUITION ONCE PAID.
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Published on August 27, 2014 12:20 • 34 views

August 21, 2014

"Thank you so much - you are a wonderful instructor, you should know this as many times as you've heard it. As a very old teacher I love your touch with people." ~ Helen

This page is for all the students in the PM Craft Class at The Attic.

NOTE:  This is an approval based class, meaning you need to check with me before signing up.  At this time, the class is full but to be wait listed, please send 1) References from previous workshops 2) A representative sample of your writing 3) Your background as a writer to jennifer@jenniferlauck.com.  I also like writers in this class to have taken The Bones of Storytelling.  You can do this online or attend prior to attempting to take this class. 

Class Begins Sept. 18th at 5:30 p.m. :  Workshop and Essay Schedule to come Sept. 5. 

Reference texts: 
Story by Robert McKee (REQUIRED) 
Tell it Slant by Brenda Miller
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks
Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker
Screenwriters Problem Solver by Syd Fields
On Writing Well by William Zinsser
The Elements of Style by Strunk/White
The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman
Philip Lopate on Writing Personal Essays



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Published on August 21, 2014 15:37 • 18 views