Online | Fiction | Workshop

6-Week Online Generative Fiction Workshop: Writing without a Map

“Cari Luna is brilliant, wise, warm and insightful. Any student working with her is lucky indeed. She is the best kind of mentor and editor—one that sees your work with fresh eyes, eager to help you find your voice and path forward. I highly recommend her!” - Rene Denfield, bestselling author 

To write with an outline is to begin with a plan, and to know where you’re headed. But what happens if you choose to skip the outline and dive in with nothing more than a few scraps of dialogue, an idea, or even just a gut feeling? To write without a planned destination is to allow your work to surprise you—often in wonderful ways. In this class we’ll work on turning off the analytical mind and giving ourselves permission to follow the words wherever they lead, without judgment. Weekly freewriting assignments, using prompts connected to that week’s craft lecture, will build on one another so that by the end of the course students will have a completed first draft of a story written entirely by freewriting. Of course, after the work of first draft is done, that analytical mind needs to be turned back on. We’ll also discuss practical revision tactics, and how to know when a piece is ready to be shared with critique partners. Each student will workshop twice, bringing in whatever stories or novel fragments they’d like to share with the group. I will also meet with each student once one-on-one by phone or Skype. Writers who take this course will leave with a completed first draft of a new story and the tools to revise it, a greater ability to tackle new projects without fear or hesitation, and techniques for overcoming writer’s block.

COURSE SKELETON:

Week 0: Intro

Week 1: Why freewriting?

Week 2: Voice and setting: how are they connected? Workshop #1

Week 3: Secrets and lies in dialogue: what are your characters hiding? Workshop #2

Week 4: Creating conflict. Workshop #3

Week 5: Finding your ending. Workshop #4

Week 6: Revision Strategies. Workshop #5

COURSE TAKEAWAYS:

- a solid grounding in key elements of craft

- greater confidence in your own writerly intuition

- concrete strategies for effective revisions

Cari Luna

Cari Luna is the author of The Revolution of Every Day, which won the Oregon Book Award for Fiction. Her writing has appeared in Salon, Jacobin, Electric Literature, Catapult, The Rumpus, PANK, and elsewhere. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Testimonials

"Cari Luna leads a workshop with confidence and warmth. I learned so much and I felt encouraged every step of the way. It is clear that Cari really cares about her students and their growth as writers. She is generous in the time she gives to her students, and I left her workshop with a lot of great resource material. A workshop with Cari Luna will positively influence your writing long after the class is over."

Catherine LaSota former student

“Cari Luna is brilliant, wise, warm and insightful. Any student working with her is lucky indeed. She is the best kind of mentor and editor—one that sees your work with fresh eyes, eager to help you find your voice and path forward. I highly recommend her!”

Rene Denfield bestselling author of THE CHILD FINDER and THE ENCHANTED

“I engaged Cari Luna first as a writing coach when I needed direction and guidance while finishing a novel and then to edit some short stories I’d written. As a coach, Cari helped me stay on track to meet writing goals and helped me conquer a crisis in confidence with warmth and compassion. As an editor, Cari’s comments have provided invaluable guidance during the revision process. In addition, I’ve noticed recently that I’ve internalized some of the editorial suggestions she’s made enough to take these suggestions with me to my writing desk when I generate new work. Working with Cari has truly helped me become a better writer at all stages of the creative process.”

Jenny Drai author of THE HISTORY WORKER and WINE DARK