April 25, 2012
For Journalists, Writers of Drama (stage,
film, TV) and Prose Fiction
interested in refreshing their practice, and exploring a new genres.
Interdisciplinary craft workshop/seminar:
learning new forms
while expanding common ground.
Saturdays, 11:00am to
1:00 pm EST (Canada), May 12-June 30, 2012.
(Alternate: Wednesday evenings... see below).
limited to four to six writers per eight week, sixteen hour course.
rich and powerful forum for the exchange of ideas
among working writers in related fields.”
Think of compulsion in two ways: the writer is compelled to dig deep to
find a meaningful narrative. The reader, or audience member, is compelled
by the narrative to seek personal echoes of the truths the writer offers
Compelling narratives operate in two directions: the writer is naturally
driven to create a compelling narrative. To compel the narrative itself. The story-hungry reader and audience
member is compelled by the narrative which, if it's well-crafted and thoroughly
considered, takes hold and will not let go.
A third way emerges, a kind of over soul complete in itself, composed of the
writer and reader's fused experiences, evidenced in the giving and receiving
The job of the narrative is to connect: all that separates reader and writer
We work on-line. Live. You
can join from home or cottage! From anywhere in the world. No need to dress
up. We work via Skype, audio only... no video. Wear your ‘jammies or sweats.
Be prepared to work hard, despite the informality, and learn from colleagues
working in new ways in old and new territory.
turns an unfailingly patient ear to the work being produced in real-time
by the group. The humour keeping it all afloat is the kind that can only
be earned by a prolific teacher who is publishing and producing award-winning
work of his own. Stetson is the real thing.” 2010 Workshop participant
BA, MA, MFA
Here's what we'll do and how we'll do it:
- Week 1: Assessing
your place in time. Past.
Present. Future. Three free-write
exercises (timed, 1/2 hour each, prepared in advance). He/she (you, objectified) in the past. I/me (you, objectified) in the present. He/she (you, objectified)
in the future. What forces shaped you as a writer?
Where are you now, in relation to the world in which you live? Where do you
hope to go? Purpose? To identify your particular, personal
narrative, to help locate your writerly obsessions and desires in the present
and project your intentions into the future. Discussion: Gestalt. Zeitgeist. Fruition. Group assessment.
Peer review. Leader summation.
- Week 2: Three
(1st, 2nd and 3rd person) free-write perspective exercises: Constructing
characters that carry the work's theme, make your arguments, transport the
work across the divide from writer to reader. We'll develop five characters:
A protagonist, an antagonist, a second or foil for each, and what Robertson
Davies identified as the Fifth Business - the force, personified, let loose
on your play or novel that forces change upon all. Group assessment. Peer review. Leader
- Week 3: Continue
free-write character work. Re-examine literary tools. For example; what exactly
are plot, story, narrative, character, tension, action. How do they interact?
What makes effective dialogue (the ice berg theory: Top one-ninth visible, accessible,
nine tenths burried, i.e: the subtext). Drama vs. prose. Scope. Landscape. Interior
and exterior worlds. Group assessment. Peer review. Leader summation.
tells us the playwright is like a perverse traffic cop:
instead of preventing accidents, he beckons cars into collision.
- Week 4: Story: The who what where when of narrative.
The facts. Construction: the world in which your character live. What story do you want your characters
to tell? What argument must they make on your behalf? What is your theme?
Motifs? Group assessment.
Peer review. Leader summation.
- Week 5: Story
outlines (500 words) read. Group assessment. Peer review. Leader
Lead in to week Six: What is the difference between stroy and plot and why
does it matter?
- Week 6: Plot: The how and why of
narrative in all fiction, be it drama or prose. "The king died the
queen died is story. The King died, the queen died of grief is plot." So
E. M. Forster told us. And so it remains true. A basic truth we ignore at
our peril no matter the genre we work in or wish to experiment with. Discussion: metaphor, irony, theme, motifs,
voice, tone, pace, rhythm. Group assessment. Peer review. Leader
summation. Group assessment.
Peer review. Leader summation.
task of the novelist is not to narrate great events
but to make small ones interesting." Schopenhauer
- Week 7: Plot presentations/assessments concluded.
We take lots of time per writer and give fair, rigorous, courteous, balanced
Free indirect style and the internal monologue; where prose fiction and dramatic
dialogue overlap. Where
prose and drama plot paths diverge: a matter of style
or content? Or both. Group
assessment. Peer review. Leader summation.
- Week 8: Your new narrative. Narrative defined:
see OED. What next? The greatest compulsion of all is toward the
exploration, rendition and exportation of the self. Marketing your work. To
connect. Hone new tools. Sustain a rigorous practice. Cross disciplines: narrative
structures in various genres. Similarities. Distinctions. Convergence. The Third Way. Group assessment. Peer
review. Leader summation. Au revoir.
Call me at +1 514 270 1948,
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. We'll set up a one-on-one
Skype info-date in which I'll answer individual questions regarding the
course and its suitability to your particular needs.*
Cost: $1500.00 cdn plus applicable
taxes. Paypal, check or international money order. Early sign-up bonus.
Payment schedule negotiable.
Note: Depending on numbers, I'll run a second course if required on Wednesday
nights, 7 to 9 pm. Remember... no more that 4-6 participants per class.
The course is intense, the attention highly individualized, the discussion
animated, intelligent and entertaining. We may go fifteen or twenty minutes
past the alloted time. Leave your achedule a little free if you can.
*Selection by converstation. Drop a note (email@example.com) and
we'll set up a phone (+1 514 270 1948) or Skype (un: kentstetson) call.
Master CRAFT Works: Short course: The Character Generated Plot in Drama and Prose Fiction.
Five Weeks. Twenty hours.
Who did what to whom: the who, what, where and when of the story. The How and Why of the plot.
- *Live, on-line,
interactive five-week, 20 hour craft workshop/seminars for Dramatists
(film, stage and television)
the difference between Story and Plot
the Character Generated Plot.
- Play and Screen
play, Prose Fiction reading service included: six month follow-up.
- Placing your play/novel/short
story/movie: writing the synopsis that will improve your one page
Master TEXT Works: On-going
For induividual drama writers seeking constructive criticism of complete early drafts.
What's the Big Idea? Got your story straight?
- Dramaturgical services for playwrights.
Two week turn-around.
- Script development/editorial
services for screenwriters. Two week turn-around.
story development for writers of graphic novels and mixed media.
attention, extensive reader's report.
- Six month
follow up sessions available.
Master BOOK Works: On-going
Craft seminar/workshop for individual prose writers: novellas, novels and short fiction.
"No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader: no joy in the writer, no joy in the reader." W & H Burnett.
prose fiction: novels and short stories that enlighten as they entertain.
dialogue that hits and sticks: free indirect speech, aka. the free
live (Skype, voice only), interactive 8 weeks (sixteen hours) : the
craft and practice of prose fiction.
- Six writer/participants,
maximum, per eight week, 16 hr workshop duration.
manuscript reading and editorial services available post-workshop.
- Ms. placement:
the perfect query letter to agents and publishers.
- Six month
follow up session available. How has your work progressed? Are you
Master CHARACTER Works: On-going
Private sessions tailored to the needs of individual writers just starting out.
"I'm sorry.... who did you say you were again?" Write characters who make strong, lasting impressions.
- The character
generated plot in Drama and Prose fiction.
- The dramatic
monologue: know your characters inside out.
- Making strong
characters is like herding cats... who's in charge here?
characters who'll tell the story you want to tell.
Story, Plot: it all comes back to the character driven evolution of
- Work form
home: *Ten to fifteen hours, live and on line according to your schedule
and your needs.•
- Six month follow
up session available.
- Contact MasterPlayWorks for details.
*All workshops offered live, interactive, and on-line
via. Skype (audio only... we don't need video. It's all about
hearing each other's words).