Margie Lawson

Changing your Writing World

The Eight Crafts of Writing

Course Premiere Promo: I will assess your story engine and discuss it with you in a thirty minutes on-one-one call.

Do you want a structured overview of the writing craft(s)? Are you interested in learning the psychology of storytelling? What about getting a storytelling edge by learning the secrets of reader engagement?

The Writing Jungle

Jane is an aspiring writer, who, like everyone else before her, parachutes straight into the writing jungle. And, like everybody else, she find herself hung up on a tree with her parachute. The tree is the writing skill How to Write in Limited POV. She looks around and notices a hundred more trees from which other aspiring writers are dangling. She cuts the parachute lines, drops to the ground, makes a somersault forward, and jumps to her feet. Around her, writers of all ages are cutting paths through the jungle. Jane can see just ten meters into the thicket. She is desperate for a map and a navigation system.

“Help,” she calls.

Well-meant answers arrive from all directions. ”Create an interesting character and give her a great goal.”

“Write what you want to read.”

“Create a sense of wonder.”

“The more conflict, the better.”

“Don’t write to get published, grab the reader.”

“Be captivating. Or memorable.”

“Keep the reader turning pages.”

“Be unpredictable and keep the reader curious.” Five years later, Jane is still cutting her way through the writing wilderness. She has hugged countless writing skill trees, sun-tanned at the romance beach, ascended the suspense mountain, and hiked the Hero’s Journey track. But the storytelling jungle remains unchartered land. What else is out there? She still hopes for a map and navigation system.

Course Duration

The course duration is 6 + 1 weeks. In case someone falls behind, he/she will have an extra week and I will continue to give feedback on exercises.

What you will learn if you take this course:

  • The eight writing crafts (the map): Big Idea, Genre, Narrative, Story Outline, Characterization, World Building, Scene & Chapter Structure, and Prose
  • How to engagers readers with the eight crafts
  • A fresh definition of story that keeps your writing focussed
  • How to use the psychology of storytelling to write immersive stories
  • The adversity cycle and how to use it to streamline your story outline
  • How to author stories before writing them
  • How to differentiate between protagonistic and antagonistic genres, story outlines, and scenes and why that matters
  • A new way of dealing with the shapeshifting writer’s block

Lessons include:

  • Lesson material
  • Writing exercises
  • Writing prompts
  • Additional tools and resources
  • Links to Lawson Writer's Academy courses that allow you to dig deeper into the crafts and sub-crafts

Only for the December course: I will assess your story engine and discuss it with you in a forty-five minutes one-on-one call.

Who should take this course:

  • Aspiring writers
  • Writers who are a couple of years into their writing journey but got lost in the weeds (as it happened to me)
  • Writers interested the psychology of storytelling and the secrets of story engagement
  • Writers interested in a simple and effective way of authoring stories

Course Overview:

Lesson 1: The Eight Crafts of Writing

  • The writing jungle
  • What are stories?
  • Storytelling art and craft
  • Reader investment and engagement

Lesson 2: The Psychology of Storytelling

  • The Psychology of experiencing
  • Mental responses to experiences and stories
  • The psychology of storytelling
  • Janus, the two-faced god

Lesson 3: The Big Idea

  • Big Idea basics
  • Story morals
  • What-ifs
  • A bit of wisdom
  • The story promise

Lesson 4: Narrative Part 1

  • Narrative basics
  • Narrative styles and genres
  • The author’s voice
  • The narrative frame

Lesson 5: Narrative Part 2

  • Point of View
  • Narrative information divides
  • Narrative tone
  • Exposition and backstory
  • Non-linear and parallel narrative

Lesson 6: Genre Part 1

  • Genre basics
  • Genre proper
  • Genres experiences and stakes
  • Stake spectrums

Lesson 7: Genre Part 2

  • External genres and their stakes
  • Internal genres and their stakes
  • New genres
  • Genre conventions
  • Amazon categories

Lesson 8: Story Outline Part 1

  • Story Outline basics
  • Stories and adversity
  • The adversity cycle

Lesson 9: Story Outline Part 2

  • The story arc
  • The story engine
  • Nanomine - a story engine experiment
  • The story engine and the story promise

Lesson 10: Story Outline Part 3

  • The four act structure
  • Stake thresholds
  • Act 1 scene outline
  • Act 2 scene outline
  • Midpoint scene outline
  • Act 3 scene outline
  • Act 4 scene outline

Lesson 11: Story Outline Part 4

  • Scene outline and genre conventions
  • Scene types and nests
  • Motivations, Wants, Goals, Needs, and Objects of Desire
  • The Internal Story Engine
  • The Psychology of Story Outline
  • Story Outline Archetypes
  • Plots
  • Plot alignment
  • Story graphs

Lesson 12: Characterization Part 1

  • Characterization basics
  • The Difference Between Sympathy and Empathy
  • Weaving sympathy
  • Weaving empathy
  • Empathy and art
  • Empathy and the protagonist
  • Empathy and the antagonist

Lesson 13: Characterization Part 2

  • Character Arcs and Character Change
  • The Generic Protagonist Arc
  • Characterization Design
  • Story Character Archetypes

Lesson 14: Characterization Part 3

  • Character Templates
  • The Big Five Templates
  • The Twenty-Two Character Templates
  • Character Profiling
  • Character Conflict Design
  • Showing and Revealing Character
  • Backstory

Lesson 15:  World Building

  • World Building Basics
  • World context
  • The World Power System
  • World Setting
  • Story Context, Outline, and Characterization
  • World Moods
  • Exposition

Lesson 16:  Scene & Chapter Structure Part 1

  • Scene & Chapter Structure Basics
  • Scene elements
  • Scene Building Blocks

Lesson 17:  Scene & Chapter Structure Part 2

  • The Three Basic Scene Arcs
  • Scene Types and Templates
  • Chapter Structure
  • The Scene Train Technique
  • The Scene Header

Lesson 18:  Prose Part 1

  • Prose basics
  • Vocabulary, Choice of Words, and Diction
  • Fresh Expressions
  • Pace and Rhythm
  • Poetry in Prose
  • Highlighting Words

Lesson 19:  Prose Part 2

  • Scene Building Block Prose
  • The Narrative Building Block
  • The Description Building Block
  • The Internalization Building Block
  • The Action Beat Building Block
  • The Dialogue Building Block
  • The Dialogue Tag Building Block

Lesson 20:  Prose Part 3

  • Balancing Scene Building Blocks
  • Spotlighting Scene Building Blocks
  • Economy of Prose
  • Strong Verbs and When to Use Them
  • Subtext and Supratext
  • Designing Moods

Lesson 21:  Making Use of The Eight Crafts of Writing

  • What Kind of Writer Are You?
  • Art and Craft
  • How to Author and Write a Story
  • The Manuscript Turning Point
  • Craft Integration
  • The Writer’s Block

Bonus Lesson (no exercises): Use the Eight Crafts of Writing to Sell Your Book 1481 Words

  • The Book Exterior
  • Your Opening

Teacher

Stefan Emunds

Stefan writes inspirational non-fiction, visionary fiction, and runs an online enlightenment workshop. Enlightenment and storytelling have interesting parallels, which enticed Stefan to write a book about storytelling - The Eight Crafts of Writing. Stefan was born in Germany and, after graduating, enjoyed two years backpacking in Australia, New Zealand, and South-East Asia. Back home, he studied general electro-technology and pursued a career as a sales and business development manager in Europe, Middle East, and Asia. Semis-retired now, he lives with his son in the Philippines.

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