In 2015, I designed and facilitated
a six-session (18 hour) course exploring literary structural forms, craft elements, and stylistic choices to strengthen awareness of powerful ways to write unique stories. (Put 1-2 sentences about my approach- look at printed materials)
◈ Desire & dread: emotionally resonant stakes that create urgency and meaning in our stories
◈ Full story arcs complete with stakes and tension within micro stories
◈ Going cold: strategic use of withdrawal when expressing emotion in order to leave room for readers' depth of feeling, as according to Tony Earley’s 'be-more-cold' principle
◈ Connecting I to we: layering personal experience with collective context
◈ Exploring how knowing whose minds & hearts we seek to connect with shapes which tongue we speak in and if/how we translate or provide context for cultural references
◈ Noticing the partnership between our conscious and subconscious minds and the roles they play in drafting and editing
◈ Reading as a writer: how does the tone an author invokes engage us? What are the elements that build tension? What do we notice about the setting, pacing, tenses, point of view, imagery, and when the story unfolds via scene versus summary? Which of these elements of a book make us love it? What do they teach us about our own craft choices?
◈ Writing under the influence of authors whose styles and structures we explored
Rituals of gathering, breaking bread, grounding in curiosity, building trust,
& yielding to self-determined levels of vulnerability
We examined excerpts from the following texts:
"The lessons were so well organized and the essence was clear. Space was always made to acknowledge others' wisdom and experience."
"Shana did well to respect when people didn't want to share but occasionally would lovingly encourage everyone to allow themselves to be heard."
"Shana is a pro at going with the flow of the conversation and bringing it back to the larger lesson's goal."
"I would gladly take Shana's class again. It opened up parts of me that I honestly thought were dead."
"The activities in this class opened up my awareness of what I can achieve in my writing. It has helped me unblock trapped stories with new ways of approaching them."
"Shana's comments in the conversations were genius nuggets. She sees and hears and feels your work. Her facilitation was flexible and tailored to meet our group's real time needs."