Writing Classes

Online Class: Julia McNeal - Five Ways In to Character: A Three-Class Series (Ways Four and Five)

Saturday, November 19, 2022 - 1:30pm


Way One (Sat., November 5, 1:30-3:30pm PT • $70)

Ways Two & Three (Sat., November 12, 1:30-4:00pm PT • $85)

Ways Four & Five (Sat., November 19, 1:30-4:00pm PT • $85)

Sign up for each class individually, or take all three and get a full-series discount

Online • Live • $200 for the series • Class size limited to 18

 

 

Five Ways In to Character is a unique, five-part technique for creating characters on the page and in performance. Synthesized by Julia McNeal, and honed over the last 15 years, this technique has never failed to deepen, clarify, and improve the character creation of all who apply it.

Following the great success of these online classes last year, Julia brings the entire series back to Book Passage this fall.

1. Way One of the Five Ways In to Character

The first of the Five Ways, “Way One” introduces the first of the “Outside-In” approaches of the technique. It’s the most fun to use and easiest to apply, with clear and immediate results. Even as it focuses on externally visible character details, by using this approach, deeper motivations and priorities are revealed, while characters come into individuated clarity.

Bring to class: A line or two in the voice of—or a short description of—two or three characters you are creating/writing about — fictional or real.

2) Ways Two and Three of the Five Ways In to Character

Way Two completes the “Outside-In” work of the technique — focusing on gender; and Way Three is the deep core of the technique: the Inside-Out work that opens the door to any character’s truest being and unique nature.

Bring to class: A notebook and pen (rather than a device) to write with, and a short paragraph (1 – 5 sentences) that describes—or is in the voice of—a character you are working on or thinking about.

3) Ways Four and Five of the Five Ways In to Character

Ways Four and Five are both Inside-Out work (starting with the inner world of a character, and discovering how that manifests outwardly). Way Four gives you Julia’s Artist’s/Writer’s Authentic Self meditation (totally valuable on its own, with or without characters to write!), and shows you how to apply it to creating distinct characters. Way Five is the simplest Inside-Out piece of the technique—almost a no-brainer—and always worth applying last.

Bring to class: A notebook and pen (rather than a device) to write with, and a short paragraph (1 – 5 sentences) that describes—or is in the voice of—a character you are working on or thinking about (they can even be You.)

In each class, you will learn practical tools to apply every time you want to get clear, compelling, recognizable and specific characters on the page. If you need something to shake up your writing routine, invite deeper truth, energy, and new ways of seeing the character(s) you are writing (even if that character is You), come play and learn on three Saturdays: November 5th, 12th, and 19th. You’ll come away with a whole new way of looking at characters, and a concrete method of approach you can use, going forward.

The book on Julia's technique: 5 Ways In to Character: bringing intimate humanity to the page, stage, screen and easel is now available for purchase!

Format of classes: Presentation, short interactive exercises, short writing time, question/answer. Class size limited to 16 students.

NOTE: Classes will be held on ZOOM and will not be recorded. Greatest effectiveness depends on working in person, in community (this is showing up for your Writing Time). Also, not recording protects individual and artistic privacy. Julia’s Five Ways In to Character book and videos are being created as we speak, and she hopes to have them available at the time of this Series.

©2021 Julia McNeal julia@juliamcnealarts.com

What Students Are Saying about Julia McNeal

“Julia’s Ways In is a brilliant and original set of techniques for exploring and deepening characters which go way beyond what writers usually learn and practice. A wonderful opportunity to learn from an accomplished actress how to
access the often elusive essence of characters and what makes them tick. Julia is a passionate and stimulating teacher and her classes crack open new insights and perspectives for writers committed to creating characters that are fully alive.”

"Julia's techniques help keep me excited about my writing projects rather than overwhelmed. Her classes offer a useful conceptual framework, actionable practices, and compassionate support."

“Thank you Julia. This was exactly what I needed to reconnect with my writing project after losing focus amid this whole pandemic situation.”

Online Class: Julia McNeal - Five Ways In to Character: A Three-Class Series (Ways Two and Three)

Saturday, November 12, 2022 - 1:30pm


Way One (Sat., November 5, 1:30-3:30pm PT • $70)

Ways Two & Three (Sat., November 12, 1:30-4:00pm PT • $85)

Ways Four & Five (Sat., November 19, 1:30-4:00pm PT • $85)

Sign up for each class individually, or take all three and get a full-series discount

Online • Live • $200 for the series • Class size limited to 18

 

 

Five Ways In to Character is a unique, five-part technique for creating characters on the page and in performance. Synthesized by Julia McNeal, and honed over the last 15 years, this technique has never failed to deepen, clarify, and improve the character creation of all who apply it.

Following the great success of these online classes last year, Julia brings the entire series back to Book Passage this fall.

1. Way One of the Five Ways In to Character

The first of the Five Ways, “Way One” introduces the first of the “Outside-In” approaches of the technique. It’s the most fun to use and easiest to apply, with clear and immediate results. Even as it focuses on externally visible character details, by using this approach, deeper motivations and priorities are revealed, while characters come into individuated clarity.

Bring to class: A line or two in the voice of—or a short description of—two or three characters you are creating/writing about — fictional or real.

2) Ways Two and Three of the Five Ways In to Character

Way Two completes the “Outside-In” work of the technique — focusing on gender; and Way Three is the deep core of the technique: the Inside-Out work that opens the door to any character’s truest being and unique nature.

Bring to class: A notebook and pen (rather than a device) to write with, and a short paragraph (1 – 5 sentences) that describes—or is in the voice of—a character you are working on or thinking about.

3) Ways Four and Five of the Five Ways In to Character

Ways Four and Five are both Inside-Out work (starting with the inner world of a character, and discovering how that manifests outwardly). Way Four gives you Julia’s Artist’s/Writer’s Authentic Self meditation (totally valuable on its own, with or without characters to write!), and shows you how to apply it to creating distinct characters. Way Five is the simplest Inside-Out piece of the technique—almost a no-brainer—and always worth applying last.

Bring to class: A notebook and pen (rather than a device) to write with, and a short paragraph (1 – 5 sentences) that describes—or is in the voice of—a character you are working on or thinking about (they can even be You.)

In each class, you will learn practical tools to apply every time you want to get clear, compelling, recognizable and specific characters on the page. If you need something to shake up your writing routine, invite deeper truth, energy, and new ways of seeing the character(s) you are writing (even if that character is You), come play and learn on three Saturdays: November 5th, 12th, and 19th. You’ll come away with a whole new way of looking at characters, and a concrete method of approach you can use, going forward.

The book on Julia's technique: 5 Ways In to Character: bringing intimate humanity to the page, stage, screen and easel is now available for purchase!

Format of classes: Presentation, short interactive exercises, short writing time, question/answer. Class size limited to 16 students.

NOTE: Classes will be held on ZOOM and will not be recorded. Greatest effectiveness depends on working in person, in community (this is showing up for your Writing Time). Also, not recording protects individual and artistic privacy. Julia’s Five Ways In to Character book and videos are being created as we speak, and she hopes to have them available at the time of this Series.

©2021 Julia McNeal julia@juliamcnealarts.com

What Students Are Saying about Julia McNeal

“Julia’s Ways In is a brilliant and original set of techniques for exploring and deepening characters which go way beyond what writers usually learn and practice. A wonderful opportunity to learn from an accomplished actress how to
access the often elusive essence of characters and what makes them tick. Julia is a passionate and stimulating teacher and her classes crack open new insights and perspectives for writers committed to creating characters that are fully alive.”

"Julia's techniques help keep me excited about my writing projects rather than overwhelmed. Her classes offer a useful conceptual framework, actionable practices, and compassionate support."

“Thank you Julia. This was exactly what I needed to reconnect with my writing project after losing focus amid this whole pandemic situation.”

Online Class: Julia McNeal - Five Ways In to Character: A Three-Class Series (Way One)

Saturday, November 5, 2022 - 1:30pm



Way One (Sat., November 5, 1:30-3:30pm PT • $70)

Ways Two & Three (Sat., November 12, 1:30-4:00pm PT • $85)

Ways Four & Five (Sat., November 19, 1:30-4:00pm PT • $85)

Sign up for each class individually, or take all three and get a full-series discount

Online • Live • $200 for the series • Class size limited to 22

 

 

Five Ways In to Character is a unique, five-part technique for creating characters on the page and in performance. Synthesized by Julia McNeal, and honed over the last 15 years, this technique has never failed to deepen, clarify, and improve the character creation of all who apply it.

Following the great success of these online classes last year, Julia brings the entire series back to Book Passage this fall.

1. Way One of the Five Ways In to Character

The first of the Five Ways, “Way One” introduces the first of the “Outside-In” approaches of the technique. It’s the most fun to use and easiest to apply, with clear and immediate results. Even as it focuses on externally visible character details, by using this approach, deeper motivations and priorities are revealed, while characters come into individuated clarity.

Bring to class: A line or two in the voice of—or a short description of—two or three characters you are creating/writing about — fictional or real.

2) Ways Two and Three of the Five Ways In to Character

Way Two completes the “Outside-In” work of the technique — focusing on gender; and Way Three is the deep core of the technique: the Inside-Out work that opens the door to any character’s truest being and unique nature.

Bring to class: A notebook and pen (rather than a device) to write with, and a short paragraph (1 – 5 sentences) that describes — or is in the voice of — a character you are working on or thinking about.

3) Ways Four and Five of the Five Ways In to Character

Ways Four and Five are both Inside-Out work (starting with the inner world of a character, and discovering how that manifests outwardly). Way Four gives you Julia’s Artist’s/Writer’s Authentic Self meditation (totally valuable on its own, with or without characters to write!) and shows you how to apply it to creating distinct characters. Way Five is the simplest Inside-Out piece of the technique — almost a no-brainer — and always worth applying last.

Bring to class: A notebook and pen (rather than a device) to write with, and a short paragraph (1 – 5 sentences) that describes — or is in the voice of — a character you are working on or thinking about (they can even be You.)

In each class, you will learn practical tools to apply every time you want to get clear, compelling, recognizable and specific characters on the page. If you need something to shake up your writing routine, invite deeper truth, energy, and new ways of seeing the character(s) you are writing (even if that character is You), come play and learn on three Saturdays: November 5th, 12th, and 19th. You’ll come away with a whole new way of looking at characters, and a concrete method of approach you can use, going forward.

The book on Julia's technique: 5 Ways In to Character: bringing intimate humanity to the page, stage, screen and easel is now available for purchase!

Format of classes: Presentation, short interactive exercises, short writing time, question/answer. Class size limited to 18 students.

NOTE: Classes will be held on ZOOM and will not be recorded. Greatest effectiveness depends on working in person, in community (this is showing up for your Writing Time). Also, not recording protects individual and artistic privacy.

©2021 Julia McNeal julia@juliamcnealarts.com

What Students Are Saying about Julia McNeal

“Julia’s Ways In is a brilliant and original set of techniques for exploring and deepening characters which go way beyond what writers usually learn and practice. A wonderful opportunity to learn from an accomplished actress how to
access the often elusive essence of characters and what makes them tick. Julia is a passionate and stimulating teacher and her classes crack open new insights and perspectives for writers committed to creating characters that are fully alive.”

"Julia's techniques help keep me excited about my writing projects rather than overwhelmed. Her classes offer a useful conceptual framework, actionable practices, and compassionate support."

“Thank you Julia. This was exactly what I needed to reconnect with my writing project after losing focus amid this whole pandemic situation.”

Online Class: Wendy Walsh - Continuing the Journey with Dante's Paradiso

Tuesday, March 23, 2021 - 3:30pm to 5:30pm



Eight Tuesdays: March 23 - May 11, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • Live • 3:30-5:30pm PT • $240

The course is taught in English with frequent references to Dante’s brilliant and evocative Italian.


 

Join Wendy Walsh in reading and studying Paradiso, the luminous—and dense—third cantica of Dante’s Divine Comedy. The pilgrim Dante accompanied by Beatrice (until Canto XXXI) travels through the different spheres of planets and stars to the highest and outermost circle of the heavens, the Empyrean, where he will be granted the Beatific Vision.

Wendy Walsh has a PhD in Italian Literature from UC Berkeley. She has been teaching Italian language and literature since 1979.

 

 

Online Seminar: Connie Josefs - Finding Form: Shaping Your Memoir (Session II)

Saturday, March 20, 2021 - 2:00pm to 4:30pm



Session I: The 3-Act Paradigm (Sat., March 13, 2:00-4:30pm PT)

Session II: Alternative & Hybrid Structures (Sat., March 20, 2:00-4:30pm PT)

$125 per class • $200 for both
 

 

“We often turn to memoir for wisdom rather than form. But sometimes the form is the wisdom." —Stephanie Burt

You’ve written a draft of your memoir... a series of personal essays... a few vignettes. Now what? How do you revise, organize, put the pieces together?

Structure is more than a container, it’s a dynamic expression of voice, character and theme. This seminar will examine how writers of memoir and memoir-based fiction shape their work. We will analyze elements of the 3-Act Paradigm as well as alternative and hybrid structures, and explore how the shape of a memoir, its organizing principle, comes from inside the story. Seminar format includes advance readings, class handouts, lecture, and Q&A.

Connie Josefs is a writer, teacher, and memoir coach. She has led workshops in memoir and fiction for 30 years and has taught at UNM Albuquerque, Southwest Writers, The Taos Writers Conference, and Santa Monica College. She holds an MFA from Antioch LA and has worked as a writer and story analyst for film and television. Find more at conniejosefs.com.

 

Online Seminar: Connie Josefs - Finding Form: Shaping Your Memoir (Session I)

Saturday, March 13, 2021 - 2:00pm to 4:30pm



Session I: The 3-Act Paradigm (Sat., March 13, 2:00-4:30pm PT)

Session II: Alternative & Hybrid Structures (Sat., March 20, 2:00-4:30pm PT)

Online • Live • $125 per class • $200 for both
 

 

“We often turn to memoir for wisdom rather than form. But sometimes the form is the wisdom." —Stephanie Burt

You’ve written a draft of your memoir... a series of personal essays... a few vignettes. Now what? How do you revise, organize, put the pieces together?

Structure is more than a container, it’s a dynamic expression of voice, character and theme. This seminar will examine how writers of memoir and memoir-based fiction shape their work. We will analyze elements of the 3-Act Paradigm as well as alternative and hybrid structures, and explore how the shape of a memoir, its organizing principle, comes from inside the story. Seminar format includes advance readings, class handouts, lecture, and Q&A. *For those unable to attend the live sessions, classes will be recorded and video replay will be available for a limited time. 

Connie Josefs is a writer, teacher, and memoir coach. She has led workshops in memoir and fiction for 30 years and has taught at UNM Albuquerque, Southwest Writers, The Taos Writers Conference, and Santa Monica College. She holds an MFA from Antioch LA and has worked as a writer and story analyst for film and television. Find more at conniejosefs.com.

 

Virtual Class: Wendy Walsh - Continuing the Journey with Dante's Purgatorio (via Zoom)

Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - 3:30pm to 5:30pm



Eight Tuesdays: January 5 - February 23, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • Live • 3:30-5:30pm PT • $240

The course is taught in English with frequent references to Dante’s brilliant and evocative Italian.


 

Continue the journey with Dante on Zoom! Join Wendy Walsh for the reading and study of Purgatorio, the second cantica of Dante’s Commedia.

Dante and Virgil begin their climb of the immense Mountain of Purgatory in the middle of the unpopulated waters of the Southern Hemisphere. Before reaching Purgatory proper, they travel through Ante Purgatory and then up through the seven terraces, each one reflecting one of the seven deadly sins. Their goal is the Earthly Paradise at the top of the mountain and along the way they will meet the many saved souls who are happily purifying themselves for their ascent to Paradise.  Purgatory is “where the soul of man is cleansed,/ made worthy to ascend to Heaven. (dove l’umano spirito si purga/e di salire al ciel diventa degno” Canto I, 5-6.)

Wendy Walsh has a PhD in Italian Literature from UC Berkeley. She has been teaching Italian language and literature since 1979.

 

Virtual Class: Nina Schuyler - Story Structure (via Zoom)

Saturday, August 1, 2020 - 10:00am

Saturday, August 1 • 10:00am - 12:30pm PDT • $50 • Hosted via Zoom

You have an idea for a short story or novel or memoir, but how to structure it? What are the expectations of readers? What are your expectations? And what about that saggy middle section? This class will explore these questions by looking at the traditional Western story structure. We’ll also consider other possible patterns for structure, such as the spiral, branching, or explosive story. The concepts in this class are applicable to fiction and memoir. By the end of this class, you will have a map of a structure for your story.

Nina Schuyler is the author of The Translator, which won the 2014 Next Generation Indie Award for General Fiction and was shortlisted for the Saroyan International Writing Award. Her first novel, The Painting, was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award and named a Best Book of 2004 by the San Francisco Chronicle. She is also the author of the bestseller, How to Write Stunning Sentences.

Virtual Class: Nina Schuyler - Story Structure (via Zoom)

Saturday, July 18, 2020 - 10:00am

Saturday, July 18 • 10:00am - 12:30pm PDT • $50 • Hosted via Zoom

Please note: This class is currently at capacity. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please email kathryn@bookpassage.com

You have an idea for a short story or novel or memoir, but how to structure it? What are the expectations of readers? What are your expectations? And what about that saggy middle section? This class will explore these questions by looking at the traditional Western story structure. We’ll also consider other possible patterns for structure, such as the spiral, branching, or explosive story. The concepts in this class are applicable to fiction and memoir. By the end of this class, you will have a map of a structure for your story.

Nina Schuyler is the author of The Translator, which won the 2014 Next Generation Indie Award for General Fiction and was shortlisted for the Saroyan International Writing Award. Her first novel, The Painting, was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award and named a Best Book of 2004 by the San Francisco Chronicle. She is also the author of the bestseller, How to Write Stunning Sentences.

Virtual Class: Wendy Walsh - Dante's Inferno (via Zoom)

Tuesday, August 25, 2020 - 3:30pm

Nine Tuesdays: August 25 - October 20 • 3:30 - 5:30pm PT • $270 • Hosted via Zoom

The year 2021 will mark the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death. Join Italy and the rest of the world in celebrating this extraordinary poet by reading and studying his masterpiece, The Divine Comedy. Wendy Walsh will offer a three course series that follows the three canticles of the poem, Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso.The first course, Inferno, is nine weeks long and offers an introduction to the whole poem as well as to historical and cultural times in which Dante was writing.

The other two courses, Purgatorio (Eight Tuesdays: January 5 - February 23, 3:30-5:30pm PT) and Paradiso (Eight Tuesdays: March 9 - April 27,  3:30-5:30pm PT) will ideally be held at Book Passage. Price and location TBD. For more information please contact Wendy Walsh at danteista@gmail.com.

Wendy Walsh has a PhD in Italian Literature from UC Berkeley. She has been teaching Italian language and literature since 1979.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Writing Classes