Intensive Program

Passionate Virtuosity
Finding Your Narrative Voice

John Barth has said that technique in art is like technique in lovemaking – heartfelt ineptitude has its charms, as does heartless skill, but what we all long for is passionate virtuosity!

Finding your voice isn’t as simple as it sounds. Finding the place for your voice in written texts can seem even more daunting. This storytelling intensive will help you identify and develop both your voice and your place within a story. Storytelling’s resonance is derived, to a great extent, from creative tensions among the storyteller, the narrative voice within the story, and individual characters. What emerges in effective storytelling is a co-expression of styles, and in this coalescence is the fresh and compelling language that allows oral tale telling to astound us. Amplifying the harmony and dissonance among these voices is what separates the finest storytellers from the very able. Although years have passed since I identified particular problems in working with this multi-layered reality, I now have models and exercises that better suggest solutions.

This is not a coaching workshop, which is to say, this is not a workshop dedicated to micro-surgery on one or two tales. Rather, you will be challenged on broader issues and given tools to use on all your stories, so that each story comes from a stronger, and more definitively personal, base.

If at all possible, I set up venues so participants can tell their story in a public space, as well as in the private space of the intensive. To take advantage of what I have to offer, you’ll need to bring photocopies of several stories, even if they are personal stories, so that you can more easily identify certain aspects of your stories and make notes on the pages. Please limit the stories you’ll be telling to less than 15 minutes to allow ample time for feedback.

Most stories tell of those who struggle to balance courage and compassion, good humor and good sense. I would hope for a similar balance in our time together.