Workshops

LJ Clarkson WorkshopsLJ CLARKSON is available for school visits and for creative writing workshops.

She has 3 workshops available as follows:

Workshop 1 – Finding ideas and transforming them into a story

Workshop 2 – Creating loveable main characters and deliciously wicked bad guys

Workshop 3 – The magical elements of story writing

Click on the workshop to find out more information about the content.

She can create workshops to suit curriculum if required. Please contact to discuss.

Workshop 1 – Finding ideas and transforming them into a story

  • Welcome and some facts about author.
  • Finding ideas and inspiration in everyday life with interactive example.
  • Keeping ideas and writing them down in a journal with example of author’s journals and scribbles.
  • Building on ideas to create a story using the author’s examples of how she turned an idea into a novel. Analyses outlining for chapters vs writing unplanned.
  • We’ll ask some “what if” questions to help students come up with some ideas for chapters or plot (i.e. what if a tiger was set loose on the character’s town, or what if your character was a cat), and do an exercise to explore how our characters react and get to know their personality.
  • Put on the reporter’s hat to research like a pro, and make characters such as pirates sound and act believable.
  • Looking at the three act structure of writing (beginning, middle and end), what they consist of, with a graphic display.
  • A demonstration of the Disney three hats of writing (the creative, the director and the producer) to teach students how to write drafts without writer’s block or judging what is being written.
  • Creating a puzzle and breaking the story into little pieces (chapters) that fit together and flow.

 

Workshop 2 – Creating Loveable Main Characters and Deliciously Wicked Bad Guys

  • Welcome and some facts about author.
  • An introduction to characters with an interactive exercise to design our own character/superhero.
  • Conduct an interview with a character with a volunteer from class. Supply a checklist of questions to ask characters to get to know them (interests, clothes, family, special traits or magic powers etc).
  • A look at how the character’s history has shaped them.
  • How a character’s flaws and strengths makes them more believable, likable and relatable.
  • Examining a character’s motivation, goals and obstacles, using an example video of the roadrunner and the coyote.
  • Digging into a character’s journey and how they grow over the story, with a visual example.
  • Creating deliciously evil bad guys, giving them a reason to be bad, goals and obstacles, and making them more powerful than the hero.

 

Workshop 3 – The magical elements of story writing

  • Welcome and some facts about author.
  • Transforming an idea into a story and the abcs of plotting and story structure.
  • Theme, tone, mood and atmosphere (i.e. dark tone is more sinister, lighter tone is happy) and how they affect the character. Example discussed and volunteers asked.
  • Establishing who the characters are, the hero on the quest, the antagonist bent on stopping the hero, the supporting characters, character conflict and their change over the book.
  • A look at point of view, who is telling the story and the different options available. Will read examples and ask volunteers to answer.
  • Opening the door to another world, exploring setting and world building, using examples.
  • Don’t forget the five senses of taste, touch, smell, hear and perception, with examples.
  • Showing vs Telling in writing with provided examples.
  • Pen, Paper, Action where students will learn how to create dramatic beginnings, write page turning action, leave the chapter on a cliffhanger ending, add in twists, turns and surprises and pace their story so it doesn’t bore the readers.