Reid Hall is pleased to present a master class in writing with author Jake Lamar.
This master class will be composed of three separate two-hour workshops taking place on the following Thursdays: October 10, 17, and 24, 2019. The total cost for these three sessions in 300€. *
Participants will be asked to read several texts before each session. During the sessions, they will first discuss the assigned works. Then there will be a half-hour of in-class writing. Finally, participants will be invited to read aloud the work they produced in class.
The first workshop will be on dialogue. How do writers capture patterns of speech authentically while, at the same time, putting a personal, authorial stamp on dialogue? How is one author's "ear" different from another's?
The second workshop will be on narration. Whether one is writing fiction, nonfiction or poetry, there is always a fundamental question for the author: Who is telling this story, conveying these ideas, making these observations?
The third workshop will be on character. Why do some characters inspire empathy in some readers while leaving others cold? By what alchemy do writers make readers "care" about a character? And what do we even mean when we talk about characters being "likable" or "relatable"?
* The master class is subject to cancellation if we receive less than six participants. In this case, all fees will be refunded.
SCHEDULE OF WORKSHOPS
October 10 - "Training Your Ear: Mysteries of Writing Strong Dialogue"
How do authors find the voices of their characters? How do writers capture patterns of speech authentically while, at the same time, putting a personal, authorial stamp on dialogue? How is one author's "ear" different from another's? In this seminar, we will try to demystify the process by studying texts from four different genres. This workshop will also include an in-class writing assignment.
October 17 - "The Narrator's Voice. Modes of Storytelling"
Whether one is writing fiction, nonfiction or poetry, there is always a fundamental issue for the author: Who is telling this story, conveying these ideas, making these observations? If you are writing in the first person, is the "I" you? And are you a reliable narrator? If you're writing in the third person, is your narrator a God-like speaker? Is this god omniscient and objective or is she subjective, limited in her knowledge? And who exactly is speaking on those rare occasions when a text is written in the second person, or the first person plural? We will explore all these issues in this seminar. We will be working with several texts but they are all relatively short. This workshop will also include an in-class writing assignment.
October 24 - "Caring about a Character: What does it mean for the reader? What challenge does it present to the writer?
One hears it all the time. A reader praises a book because she finds the characters "likable" or "relatable." Another reader dismisses a book because he couldn't "identify with the characters" or, more damningly, "didn't care about the characters." Why do some characters---or voices---inspire empathy in some readers while leaving others cold? By what alchemy do writers "make people care"? Should "caring" even matter? These are ancient literary mysteries, of course. All the more reason to explore them in a creative writing workshop.
JAKE LAMAR was born in 1961 and grew up in the Bronx, New York. He has lived in Paris, France since 1993. He is the author of a memoir, seven novels, numerous essays, reviews and short stories, and a play. His most recent work, Viper's Dream, is both a crime novel and a radio drama, set in the jazz world of Harlem between 1936 and 1961. He is a recipient of the Lyndhurst Prize (for his first book, Bourgeois Blues), a prestigious French National Book Center grant (for his novel Postérité), France’s Grand Prize for best foreign thriller (for his novel The Last Integrationist), and a Beaumarchais fellowship for his play Brothers in Exile. He is currently working on a memoir about his life in Paris.