May 18, 2017
$360 | 10 Weeks
Finding the Real Story addresses some of the larger issues of writing story through a look at the essential elements of narrative.
We go beyond mechanical approaches to craft, and limited prescriptive definitions of each element of story, to bring in complexity, depth, and new thinking. This class strengthens the tools that you already have, and offers and encourages new ways of thinking and working to go deeper into your work; to make your work coherent at deeper levels; to find ways into the stubborn knots and potent concealed places in your stories; to develop characters that breathe and surprise and move the story; to find language that not only works, but amazes.
Each week we explore more of the essential elements of writing story for both fiction and creative nonfiction writers, and how to allow these elements to embody the deeper truths and powerful emotions which move us into writing.
We work on discovering narrator and point of view; the unfolding of plot; letting subtext work for the story; deepening characterization; context and simultaneity; dialogue; the music of prose; the story’s metaphor; revision; and full development of your story, novel, or memoir. We work with the mystery of human behavior in story form, to deepen characterization and discover plot rather than be constricted by it.
We will tap into the power of the visions and voices of our narrators and characters, and the mix of truth and fiction that creates a world both imagined and real. A great deal of attention will be paid to the many possibilities for narration, and how to grow the best possible narrator for each story. We’ll learn how to unveil and deepen the subtext of our stories, understand point of view, and use the power of metaphor. We will explore narrative summary, active scene and dialogue; begin new stories and discover ways to complete old ones.
I provide writing suggestions in every session for explorations that both free and deepen participants’ writing, and work with each element of story. We share our work in an atmosphere supportive and challenging, tailored to the needs of each participant, with the aim of getting powerful and useful feedback.
For writers at all levels of experience (and their characters, too).
Loved Anya's tutorials. She used her intuitive teaching skills to present relevant material, posed directional questions regarding our work and was always there for us. Anya is a great guide. I love her professional and impish ways. I recommend you guys everywhere I go. I love writers.com and yes I'll take many more classes! Susan McLaughlin
Anya was great. She always gave generous, detailed and smart feedback... Her lessons actually exceeded my expectations in their knowledge of the subject and her use of other texts as examples. I also benefited from the recommended readings. Tony Valenzuela
I would absolutely recommend taking Anya's class to a friend. This was my first Internet writing class. I knew Anya from the International Women's Writing Guild and it was she who drew me to your site. I had a positive experience and would consider other teachers as well. Leslie Neustadt
Generally, the class was more than I expected in quality. I was happy with the class content - the lessons and the assignments. The teacher is fabulous; will take her workshops and classes whenever I can; well read, experienced and clear, thorough communicator. I will definitely recommend your classes to friends...assumption is that all classes are as good as this one (!) Claire Winker
It was apparent that Anya prepared well for our class. She was responsive but not invasive. She led us but never tried to sway our writing. (She worked) to get us to express everything we were trying to say. I really enjoyed the class and the responses from the other students. I would sign up again. Maybe even for this very same class! High value for the money. Thanks for keeping your prices low so people like me on a strict budget can attend. Mardi Link
I was thrilled with the choice of books on which the assignments were based. Anya' s insightful discussions, and the assignments that challenged me while encouraging me to continue work on my novel, made this a most valuable class. If there was any "problem" with the class, it was that there so very much material to mine and absorb. I will be returning to my notes for months to discover more! Anya is a brilliant teacher. She was constantly expanding my experiences as a reader and a writer. She seemed to find ways to reach every student at her own level. Her critiques were excellent. Libby Jacobs
I am a college English professor, so I know how difficult it is to write inspiring writing assignments and lectures. I can only imagine how much harder that is to accomplish online. Each week, I looked forward to Anya's assignments and lessons. They never failed to inspire me in ways I could not have imagined. This workshop opened my writing in so many ways. I can't fully express how grateful am am that I found Anya and Writers.com. Cathy Romagnolo
This teacher is the best I have ever encountered online or off. She has a brilliant mind and is a truly great teacher who provides direction, praise, encouragement and guidance. She offers constructive criticism that I found very helpful. There is no doubt that she has made me a better writer. I wish there were more Anya courses to take. I've taken them all. Lesley Checkland-Orr
Anya's responses to each students work was generous and supportive in a manner that I have never witnessed previously. Her critiques were extensive. They revealed a careful examination of the material by an experienced eye. Her responses offered unique and thoughtful insight in the narratives shared by the students, therefore she modeled for us, how to respond to each other's work. Her style of supportive and careful responses made for a class where risk taking was the rule. Nyla Dartt
Anya's lessons are so rich! They are full of not only examples pertinent to the lesson, but also her own thinking and mulling over of the ideas. Anya is a gracious and inspiring teacher, generous with her time and very helpful with her comments. Marge Osborn
Anya is a enthusiastic, dedicated professional...Reading her comments alone, on my writing and the writing of others in the class was sheer delight.. a lesson in the enormous benefit of a teacher totally engaged in each and every one of us. Barb Henderson
Anya was an enthusiastic teacher who encouraged me to keep writing despite challenges that made it difficult. Her feedback was honest but not brutally honest. She was a careful and attentive reader and a thoughtful critic. The lessons were epic in scope, and we were given an abundance of assignments from which to choose. Jay Griffin
Anya’s lectures were phenomenally rich in creative ways of thinking about and entering one’s story. Anya’s “Claiming Our Stories” helped me become a more conscious writer. Anya is a dynamic, interesting, frank, dedicated, and generous teacher. She gave such detailed critiques of all participants’ work that I labeled my collection of them, ‘Claiming Our Stories: A Primer for the Memoir Writer.” I was disappointed when the workshop ended. I recommend it highly to any writer of fiction or creative nonfiction. Mary Godfrey
[Anya's} teaching style was more intuitive and creative than any other writing class I've taken. She not only acknowledges that writing is an intuitive art, but also is very aware of the social implications of its expression. Her energy really brings the material to life, and her comments were encouraging and insightful. Amy Mevorach
Anya has been a delightful surprise- I can't believe I have this connection to such wisdom on the internet. I found the lessons brilliant- very full, astonishingly creative, robust material, so much packed in. The lessons stretched me, challenged me, gave me glorious permission to proceed boldly. I found her ability to hear and see and sense beyond the average just stunning, always spot-on. How does she do this? So much depth. Rose Blanchard
was happier than I thought I would be, both with the range and depth of the lessons, and with the insightful feedback. I definitely plan to take a class again with Anya. I feel that I accomplished all of my goals in taking the class, and that my writing will continue to improve as a result. Jan Nicholson
Anya is extremely accessible and the depth of the assignments is truly amazing. I can feel that I'm becoming a much better writer. I'd take Anya's classes again and again because there is so much there to think about and to do. Sharon Stine
Anya is encouraging and generous in her feedback. I suspect her Class One feedback is tempered by the trust building and newness of these "first encounter" internet relationships. Happy with Anya? A resounding YES. Kathryn Shelley Anya is an incredible teacher who is able to pull writing out of you that you are not aware that you posess. I'm very grateful for the experience and can very highly recommend her classes to all who come. Johanna Keenan
Anya was a great mentor. Her feedback was constructive, yet inspiring. She was always available for questions... and encouraged us to reach out to her. This is a great service for people who simply don't have the time to sit in a classroom environment, but are still eager to continue writing, enhance their career, etc. I'm so glad I found this service. I am definitely planning on taking more classes. Traci McDaniel
Anya is amazing! She brought out the best in my writing, encouraged me and gave excellent feedback. As a beginning writer, what I most appreciated is that Anya believed in my ability to write and gave me feedback that helped me to improve my writing and build my confidence. Mishka Migacz
I was thrilled with Anya's classes. She was "present" every possible moment providing very prompt critiques and well thought out lessons. There was a lot of value in her class. Loved her because she worked hard to understand each of her student's writing and it felt as if she wanted everyone to be successful. Roselyn O'Connell