Nathan's Workshop Series

Telling Your Story:

Tools for Memoir and Preserving Your Life's Stories

Do you have stories to tell, right from your own life? Would you like to be better at finding, expressing, and preserving them? Discover the writer in you and begin Telling Your Story.

 

This workshop explores approaches and techniques for beginning to record our Life Stories. These ideas and strategies are useful for all writers, poets, and songwriters—novice and experienced. Featured topics will be:

 

  • Ways to organize your work, and many stories, to avoid feeling overwhelmed

  • Storytelling frameworks and techniques that help hold the attention of readers

  • Strategies for developing a daily writing practice, and why that matters

Nathan’s workshop recharged my enthusiasm for my writing projects and gave me some practical tools to get the work done! I’d been in writer limbo for a couple of years, but at the end of one day, I was able to see how to get from where I was – to where I wanted to go.

 

~ Sandy Wood

Host of National Public Radio’s StarDate

Inviting the Reader In:

What the Audience Does and Does Not Need to Know

This workshop focuses on the art of revision and, to an extent, the presentation and/or performance of our writing. We will discuss ways to tighten the belts of our stories and poems by:

 

  • Taking a close and rigorous look at titles and opening lines

  • Applying “Economou’s Razor” to beginnings and endings

  • Getting rid of what distracts the reader along the way

  • Bringing in what the reader must know to be a “traveler” in our stories, lyrics, and poems

I was impacted several years ago by Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. I feel that Nathan’s workshops have that kind of potential power and impact. He presented a systematic approach to unlocking creativity.

~ Deb Suder

Director of the Suder Foundation ~ Dallas, Texas

Listing: Side to Side, Top to Bottom

Tips and Techniques for Writing Every Day

This is a more focused workshop that deals with how to never be caught without something to write about. Many writers, from Dickens to Twain, and Hemingway on up to Stephen King, had (or have) a daily writing practice. And the writers who’ve written or talked about it seem to say that this discipline was their ‘great teacher’ when it comes to the craft. I’ve written a poem a day for the last fourteen years, and I can say that nothing has taught me more about writing. We will explore:

 

  • Ways to generate material and organize it into “themes”

  • Techniques for getting a daily writing practice up and running

  • How to maintain it through “bite-sized” blocks of time and output

 

We will also dialogue about what techniques work, and do not work, for each of us as individual writers.

The Poetry Masterclass

Getting Serious -- From Generation to Completion

This workshop walks a poem, or poems, through the full process of creation. . . from topic generation to the application of serious editing tools, and then on to completion. We'll also concentrate on the nature and importance of performing our poems, as well as certain issues of the publication of individual poems and/or books.

 

  • Topic gereration. . . and generous amounts of writing time

  • Applying "Dunn's Guillotine" to opening lines

  • Applying “Economou’s Razor” to closing lines

  • Detail and Description... but just the right amount

  • Rethinking titles and first lines

  • Moving from the "general" to the "specific"

  • The Power of Brevity

  • Finding a poem's "chief desire" and sticking to it

  • How to better perform and share our work

  • Some hard truths about publishing

The Songwriting Masterclass

Better Lyrics. . . Better Stories. . . Better Songs

This workshop takes apart the innerworkings of song concepts and structures so we can better learn how to put them back together--or together to begin with. We'll also cover the nature and importance of performing our songs, as well as the basic principles of being behind the microphone... and in front of an audience.

 

  • Topic and lyric gereration

  • The four key structures, or song designs, to hang our stories on

  • Detail and Description... but just the right amount

  • Rethinking titles and first lines

  • Finding a song's main goal and theme, and sticking to it

  • How to better perform and share our work

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