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Advanced Screenwriting – The Inside Story

Two Saturdays, 10/25 & 11/1, 10 a.m to 5 p.m.
$185 members/$215 non-members; Location:
Berkeley

Many student writers, after taking Terrel Seltzer’s nine-week "Calling Card Script” class, are asking for more.  “They’re motivated and want to keep the dialogue going about screenwriting in general and their scripts in particular," Terrel. "The last day of session, I always feel protective. Like a mother bird nudging her fledglings out of the nest to fly on their own."

Advanced Screenwriting is for students who have taken the nine-week class (or equivalent} and are ready to excavate below the three-act structure surface to delve deeper into the thorny and poetic mechanics of dramatic storytelling. "Simple stories with complex characters is one of my writing mantras," says Terrel, "and these two days will be devoted to finding the true and meaningful story inside your plot, by concentrating on the main character’s transformational arc."

Students should come with 13 copies of a one-page synopsis of their script, using Dara Marks’ book, Inside Story: The Power of the Transformational Arc” as a guide. The books is available on Amazon or on Dara Marks’ website. (Note: There will be a one-hour lunch break; a lovely cafe is located on the premises.)

Terrel Seltzer is a self-taught screenwriter. She learned the craft by watching and outlining literally hundreds of movies.  Her career started in the Bay Area, working with SF director Wayne Wang, for whom she wrote the screenplays for the independent films Chan is Missing and Dim Sum. Her two produced Hollywood screenplays are How I Got into College (with Lara Flynn Boyle and Anthony Edwards) and One Fine Day (with Michelle Pfeiffer and George Cloony). Currently, she has two projects in development: FoolProof, a spec script optioned by Cherry Road Films, and Rule #1 optioned by Panther Films.

Show a Lot, Tell a Little – What every creative writer needs to know!

luterman2.jpg Saturday, Oct. 4th, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Location: Berkeley
$95 members/$110 non-members

Note: This is an especially good class for beginners, but it’s also for anyone who wants to make their writing more colorful, evocative and lively.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and the writer who learns to paint vivid images is more than halfway home. However, there comes a time in most essays, poems and stories when the underlying ideas need to be gently highlighted, a process akin to finding that long skinny vein on a shrimp and gently pulling it out. What is this story about? Where is this poem going? What is this essay trying to say? “In this workshop,” says instructor Alison Luterman, “we will write a lot and talk a little about the delicate, elusive process of making our meanings clear without overburdening our writing with too much explanation. No formulas will be offered, only some examples, and the good companionship of other writers who are struggling honestly to say what lies just beyond the tip of their tongues.”

Alison Luterman has been shamelessly telling tales from her own life ever since she could grip a sweaty pencil. She has published essays in The Sun, Radiance, Response, The East Bay Express, and The Boston Phoenix. Her book of poems, The Largest Possible Life, won The Cleveland State University Poetry Prize. She has taught poetry to thousands of school children through California Poets in the schools. The great love of her life is performing improvisational dance, singing, storytelling and poetry through the Wing It! performance ensemble. She has given workshops and readings around the country, and recently completed her first full-length play, “Saying Kaddish with my Sister.” In addition to teaching personal essay writing at the Writing Salon, she teaches playwriting through the Marin Theater Company.

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