The 30-Day Outline is a Live-on-Zoom workshop with Alan Watt that will take you from initial idea to the completion of a solid outline in 5 weeks.
"Story structure is not a formula, it's an immutable paradigm that holds within it the DNA of your protagonist's transformation."
THE OUTLINE IS YOUR ROADMAP TO SUCCESS
The challenge in outlining a novel, memoir, or screenplay lies in marrying the wildness of your imagination to the rigor of story structure. There is no formula to creating an outline, but there is craft involved.
In this five-week workshop, you will discover a process of connecting to the primal forces in your characters to reveal plot. Through this process, you'll discover the foundational elements that will help you to unlock the story within. The workshop includes lecture, stream-of-consciousness writing exercises, and structure questions designed to help you build a compelling narrative. We will watch clips from popular films and review scenes from works of memoir and fiction to illustrate the principles.
When: Wednesdays, Oct. 18th, Oct. 25th, Nov. 1st, Nov. 8th, and Nov. 15th 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. (Pacific Time)
Where: Live on Zoom
We meet once a week LIVE on Zoom from 1-3 p.m. (Pacific Time), for 5 consecutive weeks. Each class is followed by a live Q&A to answer any questions that emerge.
The workshop involves lecture, writing exercises, film clips, and working one-on-one with writers to illustrate the principles.
Note: You are not required to take the workshop live. Many writers have day jobs or commitments during class hours, therefore all of our sessions are recorded and are available for three weeks, respectively.
Over the course of the 5-week workshop, I offer one-on-one story consultations where you can send me your three-page outline and I review it, make notes, and go over it with you in a one-hour consult to explore the most dynamic and compelling way to tell your story before you begin your first draft. There is an additional cost and a limited number of spots for this service.
Week One – Unlock the Story Within
Through a series of exercises, each writer will connect to the protagonist’s dilemma at the heart of the story. The dilemma is the source of the story from which all tension and conflict arise. We will explore your protagonist’s wants and needs, uncover their transformation at the climax, and discover why you are uniquely qualified to tell this story.
Week Two – Act One/Thesis
We will take a close look at the first act of your story. Through lecture, discussion, and one-on-one work, we will cover the five key stages in your protagonist’s journey, from Inciting Incident to Opposing Argument to the Decision that propels your protagonist into the second act.
Week Three – Act Two/Antithesis
In this workshop, we will explore the four key stages that your protagonist goes through: 1) False Hope, 2) Temptation, 3) Suffering, and 4) Surrender.
Week Four – Act Three/Synthesis
In this workshop we will explore the final four stages in your protagonist’s journey from
1) Accepting Reality to 2) Taking Action to 3) Battle Scene and finally 4) New Equilibrium.
Week Five – Completing Your Outline
In this workshop we will integrate the material covered in the previous four weeks and deepen our relationship to the process of marrying the wildness of your imagination to the rigor of story structure.
Hi, I'm Al. They call me the Writer Whisperer.
I'm the L.A. Times bestselling author of the novels, Diamond Dogs and Days Are Gone, and the recipient of the American Library Association's Alex Award, a Book Sense Pick, a New York Time's New and Noteworthy book pick, and winner of France's Prix Printemps for best foreign novel of the year. Along with the national bestseller, The 90-Day Novel, (Amazon's #1 book on writing for five months) the lab has published five other books on writing. I teach a process of marrying the wildness of your imagination to the rigor of structure, and my students span the range from first-time writers to best-selling authors and filmmakers who've won numerous accolades for their work including the Pulitzer Prize.
I’m also the writer/director of the independent feature, Eddie, Kill the President (formerly Interior Night), which won four best feature awards at U.S. film festivals as well as The Boston Film Festival's Filmmaker Visionary Award. Oh, I also had a small part on Seinfeld back in the 90s when I had a thick lustrous head of chestnut hair. It's the Chinese gum episode. I'm the movie theater vendor who sells Kramer the vile hotdog.
“I cannot recommend Al highly enough. He's my guy. If you take your career seriously, make him yours.”
Jessica Sharzer, Screenwriter, A Simple Favor, Co-Executive Producer, American Horror Story
“I already had an MFA and I teach and direct a college creative writing program, but I really didn’t have an organic understanding of story. Al’s ability to merge intuition and structure is unique and invaluable. I was able to work through my outline-phobia because of the way he approached structure as a holistic approach, rather than a rigid box. Al encourages the writer to live within the questions of the story, not the answers.”
Laraine Herring, Author of Gathering Lights, Winner of the Barbara Deming Award for Women
“As I had already completed the first draft of my novel, I wasn't sure if I'd learn much on this course, but I could not have been more wrong! I now feel much better equipped to get to the core of what my story is 'really' about and to make that the focus of the second draft. Al is a gifted, humane, experienced, humble and utterly relatable teacher and, whether you are a new writer or an experienced one, offers so much insight to the writing process. Highly recommended.”
Jody Day, Author of Living The Life Unexpected
“I seriously didn’t think getting published could be a reality until I took your workshop!”
Aditi Khorana, Author of Mirror in the Sky, Razorbill, Penguin Books
“Al Watt is a master teacher, with a brilliant, intuitive understanding of story.”
Allen Zadoff, Author of The Unknown Assassin series, Little Brown
“Watt is a superb storyteller with an amazing ability to create suspense… fascinating and elaborate characters… multi-layered, complex and tragically realistic.”
Winnipeg Free Press
“Al Watt delivers the most concise, most graspable breakdown of story structure that I've ever heard.”
Andrew J. Lampl, Playwright, The Van Gogh Cafe
“Watt has an assured talent for complex narrative.”
The Globe and The Mail
“Alan is the best writing instructor on the planet. He shines a light and steps out of the way. He honors the creative process and he respects the writer's soul. He is insightful and caring and generous. I feel lucky to have crossed paths with such an inspiring person.”
Registration - $400
The story lives within you.
I help you find it.