There was a time, many years ago, when I was planning to be a high school English teacher. That never transpired, but I still love English and speak it nearly every day. I also enjoy teaching. I’ve taught fun creative-writing classes at Writers & Books and dry material in the corporate world. I’d love to teach you through video sessions or (depending on the current pandemic situation) in person.
3 or More Students
|He Said, She Said: The Art of Writing Dialogue||4 two-hour classes||$200||$160||$120|
|How to Write Funny||4 two-hour classes||$200||$160||$120|
|The (Short) Play’s the Thing!||4 two-hour classes||$200||$160||$120|
|Writing for 2 Pages / 2 Voices||2 two-hour classes||$100||$80||$60|
|Getting to Know Your Character: The Importance of a Backstory||1 two-hour class||$50||$40||$30|
Ready to learn?
Use the contact form to let me know what course(s) you’re interested in and your availability. Want to save some money? Get your friends to sign up too! More students tend to make the classes more fun and increase the learning opportunities.
He Said, She Said: The Art of Writing Dialogue
The easiest way to bring your characters to life is through their own voices, yet many writers struggle with dialogue. We’ll look at common pitfalls writers face when making their characters speak and how to avoid them. You’ll learn the elements of good dialogue through lecture and class discussion and then put them into practice with lots of writing exercises. By the end of this course, your characters will sound totally natural.
How to Write Funny
Since the earliest hieroglyphics, people have been injecting humor into their writing. (Bird, bird, eyeball, guy facing left!) When used correctly, humor can help you win over your audience, get your point across, or diffuse a tense situation. When used incorrectly, it can have the opposite effect. This course will examine various types of humor and how and when to use them effectively, through a mixture of lecture, class discussion, and writing prompts and exercises. Perfect for anyone writing in any genre!
The (Short) Play’s the Thing!
Bring your characters to life with a 10-minute play! Writing such a short play may seem simple, but you need to introduce your characters to the audience, create your conflict, and resolve it in a mere 600 seconds. In this course, we’ll discuss how to develop strong characters and interesting plots, how to keep your audience engaged, and the problems you may encounter when writing a short play (and how to avoid them). Over the length of the course, you’ll develop and write your own original 10-minute play.
Writing for 2 Pages / 2 Voices
Every year, Geva Theatre and Writers & Books team up to present 2 Pages / 2 Voices, an evening of two-page, two-character plays read by professional actors. Besides the length and character requirements, the only other rules tend to be that the play must contain a specific word (determined each year) and playwrights must reside in the six-county, Greater Rochester, NY area. Each year, the judges typically select 10 plays to showcase for the event. Since my first submission to the contest in 2016, I’ve had a play selected every year. Whether you’re a budding playwright or just new to short-format plays, this course will help you understand the intricacies of writing such a specialized play. Through discussion and writing exercises, you’ll craft a play worthy of submission to one of the Rochester-area’s premier theatrical events, and maybe get to hear it read on stage!
Getting to Know Your Character: The Importance of a Backstory
What motivates your character? Do they possess a dark secret that makes them act the way they do? How will they react when you throw something new at them? It’s important that you know your character well so that you can keep their actions consistent throughout your story. To a reader, it can be very annoying when a character does something… well… out of character — at least without any obvious cause. In this workshop, we’ll focus on writing your character’s backstory — actions that have shaped their development — actions that you may or may not ever share with the reader. Through discussion and exercises, you’ll develop your character’s backstory so you’ll always know how they’ll react to any situation.
Looking for something more specific or maybe just want some writing exercises to get your creative juices flowing? Let me know what you’re looking for, and together we can create your personalized class. I’ll even name it after you.