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Class Discussions


  1. Beyond the Beginning

    Online via Zoom, Wednesdays, April 22-May 13, 6:30-8:30 PM

    Tired of writing the first part of your book over and over? How do you move forward?  Try becoming a jellyfish! Jellyfish move by expanding and contracting. In this class, you’ll learn how to combine brainstorming and writing forward on your scenes  (expanding) with plotting and theme analysis (contracting). Above all, you’ll learn how to hold onto your hope and enthusiasm so you can make it to the finish line.

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  2. More Than I Can Say

    Online via Zoom, Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 PM, May 20-June 10

    Writers will always know more about our story and our characters than even the characters themselves. We have to, in order to write a rich and nuanced book. But how do we decide what to share with our readers? In this class we’ll examine what “not enough” or “too much” looks like, while we search for the Goldilocks Zone of “just right.”

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  3. Opening the Forbidden Door

    Morning Workshop: “Opening the Forbidden Door.” All characters have certain past experiences and future possibilities they would rather leave unexplored (as do we!) But that very door may reveal our most potent storytelling. Discover what can happen when you risk turning the key.

    Bring your Work in Progress or an idea to work on and be ready for a life-changing day. After the workshop, we’ll break for lunch, followed by a good chunk of personal writing time. Sharing at the end, for those who wish it!

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  4. Gifts from Our Enemies Writing Day Retreat

    What do our opponents—in life, in literature, or in our inner narrative—have to teach us about our creative process? When we suffer blocks and setbacks, what is really happening? How can antagonists be a road map to our writing success?

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  5. Bird's Eye View: Power Plotting

    How can you know you have a story and not just an idea?  

    What are the three words that drive your story? 

    What are the five milestones that will take you from beginning to end before you even start? (Or even if you started long ago!)

    This quickie workshop will pack your plot with power. 

    Bird's-Eye Highway christopher-rusev-Fs_Ed1Mf_Oo-unsplash.jpg

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  6. Bird's Eye View: Worthy Characters

    How can you know if your characters are worthy of your story? 

    Because they have earned the right to be there. 

    In this online workshop with Katherine, learn three "test questions" you can ask your hero (and their friends and foes), and what to do if they fail. 

    Bird's Eye Character shayan-abedi-Gw1CESon2ZM-unsplash.jpg

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  7. Bird's Eye View: "Show" Like a Pro

    When you want to plunge your reader into the action of your story, what is the best way to "show, not tell?" 

    In this online workshop with Katherine, learn the six vital ingredients your scenes can't do without. 

    Bird's-Eye Group alan-labisch-aWR3XuJobJA-unsplash.jpg

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  8. Bird's Eye View: Dialog "Don'ts"

    Want to write dialog that is stiff, contrived, and inauthentic? 

    Probably not...

    In this online workshop with Katherine, learn what *not* to do so that you can spot it, fix it, and come back with dialog that sparkles.

    Bird's Eye Charlie McCarthy robert-zunikoff-j0vIeF69Jgc-unsplash.jpg

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  9. Spotlight

    Spotlight Sessions take place Tuesday nights. Each begins with a short target-topic. The bulk of the session is devoted to YOUR WORK. Seven writers can be in the spotlight each session. To sing up for Spotlight, go the the Store tab. Labyrinth members have priority for sharing, but generally the earlier you sign up and sign in, the better chance you have for a spot. This is the place we post the session recordings, participant goals and other relevant information. 

    Labrinth Spotlight--daniel-van-den-berg-29Jx9qyTW14-unsplash.jpg

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  10. Retreat--Beginnings

    Retreat: Beginnings--Rock Your Early Chapters without Dumping or Disorienting--Sat, May 30

    Saturday, May 30, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Via Zoom)

    Bring your Work in Progress or idea and be ready for a life-changing day. We begin with a workshop, then break for lunch (on your own), followed by personal writing time. Sharing at the end, for those who wish it!

    How do you introduce your characters, conflict and story world so that the reader not only understands what’s going on, but cares? In this workshop, we’ll focus on the first three chapters of your book, where you set your characters in motion, lock your conflict, and hook your reader on an adventure they can’t put down. (If you have time, please read 
    The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky and Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple in advance of the workshop.)

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  11. How to Write Winning Opponents

    Even if you don’t want a mustache-twirling bad-guy in your book, you still need someone (yes, a sentient someone) to be a worthy adversary for your hero. In this four-week class, we’ll learn the components of opponents, and  how your antagonist may hold more keys to your hero than you think. 


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  12. The Art of the Finish

    Saturday, November 7 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (PST)

    The Art of the Finish

    How do you find your final scene, so you can write toward it, regardless of where you are in your project? Uncovering this scene and what it means can save you from years of rabbit trails—even if the scene changes by the time you get there.

    An all-day intensive, so that you can give your writing the time it deserves, our virtual retreat is not completely virtual. When you mindfully walk through the physical world, you open creative doors you cannot access sitting in a chair. That’s why you’ll venture outside to complete “missions” for your book.

    After our interactive workshop, we break for lunch around 1:00, then return to spend significant time writing, followed by sharing and feedback.

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  13. Freeing the Novel

    This free webinar is for all who have arrived at a place of stuckness on a novel. 

    YOU ARE NOT ALONE. The sad thing is that writers often give up at this point. You don't mean to give up. You just find you've left your heroine in the Bogs of Blart for a very long time. 

    In this 90-minute webinar, you will discover five reasons novels get stuck, diagnose which one applies to you, and make a plan for getting back on track. 

    You'll also learn about Labyrinth, an academy for writers, and receive a special discount code you can use to sign up. 

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  14. Writing the Hidden Story/Making a Scene

    Eight Sessions. Wednesdays, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM (PST). All classes are recorded.

    Writing the Hidden Story September 23-October 14
    Your characters live and breathe because of a hidden story—one you must go deep within to find. A work of fiction (or creative nonfiction) that is disconnected from you is nothing more than a clever word exercise. Mine your own hero’s journey so that you can discover the story you didn’t know you were writing.

    Making a Scene October 21-November 11
    Now that you know your hidden story, unveil the secrets of attention-grabbing scenes and dialog. Learn how to “cut the boring bits” by writing tight, connecting each scene element to the thematic core. We’ll also use the elements to indulge in some literary silliness.

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