Magical Handouts

Click to download as PDFs. You may need to do a save-as to have file on your own computer.

Entire booklet as one file


Session 1 - Magical Writing Space

Session 2 - Invoking Characters

Session 3 - Narrative Energy

Session 4 - Our Inner Critic

Session 5 - Story, Myth, and Plot

Session 6 - Editing Alchemy

Session 7 - Into the World


Craft Handouts


The Craft - Incipits

The Craft - Promises

The Craft - Five-Act Structure

The Craft - Characters

More coming soon

Entire booklet as one file

Six-week Bay Area class - next class starts Tuesday June 25, 2013 - email for more info
The Magical Writer Online - skype-based class - six Sundays starting June 23, 2013 - email for more info


What is The Magical Writer? - see below | Are you a Magical Writer?

Welcome to the webpage for our Magical Writing class. This is the weekly update for the class. To see an overview of the whole series, view the Syllabus below.

Click here for an introductory handout!

Questions, feedback, fanmail, bribes, etc - contact George Franklin.


SYLLABUS

Specific exercises may vary - see handouts for more exercises and details about each session.
Session #1

Creating Magical Writing Space

For our first session, please download Handout #1 in the left column. Try the exercises on the second page, in particular these to share in class:

  • Do some work on creating or upgrading your writing space - at least in the conceptual realm. What improvements might make your space more conducive to creativity? We'll share ideas and practices.

  • Cover blurb - come prepared to share something from this exercise.

  • Mirror affirmation - try the understatement exercise ("it sometimes happens... ") - we'll share responses.

Please feel free to contact me at any time for more information.

Image - Saint Matthew from the Ebbo Gospels. c. 825 CE


Session #2

Invoking Characters and Allies

For our second session, download Handout #2 in the left column. We'll work with these exercises in class:

  • Tree of My Writing

  • Rant-Writing - bring your rant-notes and a rework if you get that far.

  • Character Tarot Reading - we'll work with this in class, so bring a deck to the next session. Let me know if you don't have access to a deck.

Please feel free to contact me at any time for more information.

Image - Sappho, mosaic from Pompeii, c. 50 CE. Sappho lived and wrote around 600 BCE.


Session #3

Working with Narrative Energy

For this week, download Handout #3 in the left column. We'll work with these exercises in class:

  • Casablanca Energy Map - watch first 15 minutes of film

  • Invoking Specific Energies

  • Writing Under Constraints

Please feel free to contact me for more information.

Image - Gertrude Necker, Madame de Stael - writer and salon hostess in pre-Revolutionary France, late 1700s.


Session #4

Integrating Our Inner Critic

Bring to class - a small dish of salt water; your journal; handout #4 and homework below

For this week, download Handout #4 in the left column. We'll work with these exercises in class:

  • Listening to our Inner Critic - do a short session and scribe some thoughts afterward. Choose a few to share.

  • "If I set out to write the worst book in all history, it would be about __________."

  • "If I didn't care what anyone - even myself - thought, I would write _______."

Please feel free to contact me for more information.

Image - Mark Twain, late 1800s.


Session #5

Plot, Story, and Myth

Bring to class - your journal; handout #5 and homework below

For this week, download Handout #5 in the left column. You may also want to look at the "Craft" handouts in the lower left column, particularly the Five-Act Structure handout.

We'll work with these exercises from Handout #5 in class:

  • Stravinsky-writing (not on handout) - click this link and listen to this excerpt from Stravinky's Petrouchka ballet. Listen once and let the music suggest stories. Then listen again and write whatever comes into your mind.

    Download Stravinsky excerpt

  • Modern Pantheons - create (or otherwise discover) a previously unknown deity who might be of assistance to you and other writers and artists. Ask this deity to share with you some of its powers and interests. Ask if it may be invoked in our class.

  • Transforming a Myth - choose a myth that annoys you and suggest a few ways that it could be reworked. You can transform the story or outcome, introduce new characters, etc - but somehow keep the original myth visible.

Please feel free to contact me for more information.

Image - Homer, c. 800 BCE.


Session #6

The Alchemy of Editing

Bring to class - your journal; handouts and homework below

For this week, download Handout #6 on Editing and the Craft handout on Incipits in the lefthand column.

We'll work with these exercises from the Incipit handout:

  • Incipit Rewrites - Write five significantly different versions of the opening sentence/paragraph of an essay, poem, or a chapter of a fictional work. Try these variations (see Incipit Handout for more details):
    • Change the actual content of your opening
    • Change the vocabulary
    • Open with a character speaking - try an unidentified speaker
    • Open with instant drama or conflict
    • Open with an anecdote, fable, news item, historical incident...
    • Start a poem or fictional work with a thesis sentence
  • Honing the Incipit - take your favorite opener and start to hone it.
    • Can you eliminate words without losing what's essential?
    • Can you sharpen the imagery without adding to the word count?
    • Consider the rhythm:
      • Short sentences feel breathless. Periods propel us forward.
      • Longer sentences, with commas, subordinate clauses, and multiple ways of making the same point create a more laconic feel.
    • - Eliminate adverbs. "Show, don't tell."
  • Read the Show Don't Tell sections on the Editing handout (on front and back) - what are a couple of ways you could do more "showing" in your own work? What ideas can you share about this many-faceted process?

Please feel free to contact me for more information.

Image - Jorge Luis Borges, labyrinthine writer - 1899-1986.


Session #7

A Graceful Finale - and Beyond

Bring to class - your journal; Handout #7; homework below; cup of water

For homework, prepare these for class:

  • Sharing Our Writing - optional but strongly encouraged, as a way to share ourselves with each other: bring up to 3 minutes of your writing to share aloud. Please read and time it beforehand - 3 minutes is not very many words. Show us a nugget of your work.

  • Next steps - think about one or two "next steps" for your writing - what will you be doing for your writing in the next month or so? What is one thing you would ask from this group?

  • A short verbal blessing for the other writers in our class. We will share these as part of the closing ritual.

  • Bring the list of Muses (page 3 of the Handout) to our final gathering, so we can honor them.

  • For fun - try the Marketing Exercises on page 2 of the handout:
    • Describe your book - or your dissertation, etc - as a conjuncture of two well-known works: "It's like Beyond the Valley of the Dolls meets Whinnie-the-Pooh. "
    • What are a few books that yours resembles? What one thing makes your book different than all the others?
    • Write a description of your book in one paragraph. Hone it to a single sentence.

Please feel free to contact me for more information.

Image - Charlotte Bronte, wrote and published in the early 1800s.



What is The Magical Writer?

A Writing Intensive in the Reclaiming Tradition
With George Franklin and Guest Teachers

Want to write a novel, memoir, or other narrative? Want to jump-start your writing, regardless of the style? Let Reclaiming magic help!

We'll look at the craft of writing and the blocks that keep us from reaching our full artistic potential.

We'll meet in sacred space, share writing and support over the web, and gain understanding and skill from working with others. Writing can be an isolating practice - we'll use magic to weave a web of support and encouragement.

With magical tools such as circle-casting, ancestor invocations, trances, and spellwork, we'll free our expressive gifts and strengthen our belief in ourselves as artists.

We will also work on writing that expresses our unique voice, creating plot-structures, developing characters, and other aspects of the writers' craft. Each class includes directed writing time.

Class is suitable for those working on writing projects who want a supportive circle and new inspiration, and those looking to begin the process. Although you'll determine your own work-pace, be prepared to dedicate time to your writing and to commit to supporting your fellow writers during this class.

Cost is $90-180 sliding scale for the seven-week course. (You decide where you slide. I've kept the scale low - please give as generously as you can.)

For more information, contact George, george@directaction.org

George Franklin (aka Luke Hauser) is a Reclaiming teacher and co-editor of Reclaiming Quarterly. He has written several novels and published one (visit directaction.org), and helped edit work by writers such as Cynthia Lamb, T. Thorn Coyle, and Starhawk. Magic is a key part of his creative process.

Pay for class here using PayPal or credit card.

You can also mail your payment - email george@directaction.org for address.

Cost is $90-180 sliding scale for the seven-week course. (You decide where you slide. I've kept the scale low - please give as generously as you can.)