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"Working with Anya has forever changed my relationship to writing, pulling it from deep in my unconscious up into the light of inquiry." -- Annie Lewis

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Fiction Writer; Poet; Teacher of Creative Writing; Manuscript Consultant; Writing Coach; Founder of the Writing for Social Change: Re-Dream a Just World Workshops; Writing Workshop Leader.

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The Stories of Devil-Girl

The Stone of Language

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Story classes news, and a little story!

Dear Writers,

I am gathering a group for another independent online writing workshop. But here is a little incident that happened on the way to putting this on my Facebook page, something put into gear perhaps by the Great Narrator I can’t see.

I got bold. I got tired. I know what happens in my workshops in many places. I saw the results and see them, still. I wanted to go back to teaching the story classes that developed and kept developing in New Mexico, with wonderful writers who let me have my way and keep going as far as I wanted to with each class.

So, I put the announcement on Facebook, and then, with a bold, un-Prufrock-esque lack of modesty, I put this:

Time for modesty, over — Testimonials and Breakthroughs here:

http://anyaachtenberg.com/?page_id=13

What a woman, I thought! And believe me, some of the things said about me were quite jaw-dropping, or rather about my teaching. Good, I mean, if you had doubts.

And then I saw that somehow it posted on FB about 8, 10 times, imagine! One after another, a big cosmic Facebook joke, saying, “Time for modesty, over” — with the juicy link to get the very fine tributes.

Over and over. And so I tried taking them down, all but a braggingly secure but sanely singular posting — AND IT SEEMED NOTHING WOULD REMOVE THE REPEATED POSTS!!!

I panicked, and I laughed, and I panicked, and I laughed, and the Great Narrator said, for just a few minutes, “Deal with it!”

And I did. And then I relaxed, amid this chorus of cyber-praise, and tried once more for whatever reason. And the repeated self-praising posts dropped away, apparently no longer necessary.

So, I know, these are fine and magical classes, solid and liberating.

If you’re interested in writing story, or already do, contact me for information on:

Finding the Real Story: The Essential Elements of Story in Fiction and Memoir.

In this workshop, the first of 4 levels, we explore the essential elements of writing story for both fiction and creative nonfiction writers, and how to allow these elements to embody the deeper truths and powerful emotions which move us into writing.

We will work on discovering narrator and point of view; the unfolding of plot; letting subtext work for the story; deepening characterization; context and simultaneity; dialogue; the music of prose; the story’s metaphor; revision; and full development of your story, novel, or memoir.

We work with the mystery of human behavior in story form, to deepen characterization and discover plot rather than be constricted by it.

We will tap into the power of the visions and voices of our narrators and characters, and the mix of truth and fiction that creates a world both imagined and real. We’ll learn how to unveil and deepen the subtext of our stories, understand point of view, and use the power of metaphor. We will explore narrative summary, active scene and dialogue; begin new stories and discover ways to complete old ones.

I provide writing suggestions in every session for explorations that both free and deepen participants’ writing, and we share our work in an atmosphere supportive and challenging, tailored to the needs of each participant.

This story work is done in four cycles of classes of 10-12 weeks each. In each cycle we return to every element of story at a more advanced level, with more customized work for each participant. Level “One” does not mean basic, although I aim to answer questions that may not have been answered in the past about this work of writing story. It is just the beginning of my approach to all the elements of making story, and through the other story classes I work to spiral back and beyond all that we have already discussed and worked with.

For writers at all levels of experience (and their characters, too).

Peace, and story,

Anya

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