12-Week Memoir/Novel Workshop
Go from vague idea to complete rough draft of your book in only 90 days. Yes, it is possible!
Ever thought about writing a book, but felt stumped by the sheer mystery of how on earth anyone does it? Where do you start? How do you find the time? How do you know it’s going to have #allthethings, like great characters and an interesting plot?
In this workshop, we will break down the process of writing a memoir or novel, step-by-step. Our weekly, two-hour sessions will be a fun mix of instruction, group sharing with verbal feedback, and quiet writing time where you will generate new material for your book. From character sketches to theme, pacing, and developing the world of your story, we will spend an entire month brainstorming and outlining your book. From there, we will spend the next two months using your outline as a roadmap to write an imperfect, but complete rough draft.
All writing levels welcome.
Week One: 3/18
Starting with YOU: Following your curiosity and writing a book you would want to read.
Week Two: 3/25
The nuts and bolts: Plot, structure, and outlining
Week Three: 4/1
Desire, conflict, and transformation: Using the Enneagram to develop character arcs
Week Four: 4/8
Writer’s Toolbox: Writing dynamic scenes with pacing and flow
Week Five: 4/15
Starting Strong: Setting, voice, and point of view in Act I
Week Six: 4/22
Going Deeper: Using movement and meditation to explore conflict in your story
Week Seven: 4/29
Wrapping Up Act I: Review, share, and prep for Act II
Week Eight: 5/6
Hammering Out Act II: Revisiting theme, conflict, suspense, and surprise
Week Nine: 5/13
Act II: Keeping motivated while writing the middle. Refilling your creative well.
Week Ten: 5/20
Act II: The relationship between suffering and surrender. Diving further into our characters
Memorial Day: NO CLASS
Week Eleven: 6/3
Act III: Filling in the Blanks. Fighting through fear and finishing the scenes we have skipped
Week Twelve: 6/10
Putting it all together: Writing an elevator pitch + back cover copy
Week Thirteen: 6/17
We did it! Celebration potluck + Next Steps
The textbook we’ll be using is called The 90-Day Novel, 3rd Edition by Alan Watt and you can purchase it here.
DATES: March 18 - June 17, 2019 (12 weeks)
WHEN: Mondays, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
WHERE: Long Beach Christian Fellowship
3210 E. Airport Way
Long Beach, CA 90806
TUITION: $396 (monthly payment plans available)
6-Week General Writing Workshop
Be in community with likeminded writers, flex your creative muscles, and discover what you are capable of.
This is a generative workshop for writers of all genres and levels. We will spend two hours together each week, responding to writing prompts, honing our craft, and sharing our work in a supportive environment. We will do one round of writing and sharing during the first hour, take a break midway through to grab a few snacks and get to know each other, then we’ll end with one more round of responding to a writing prompt and asking for optional feedback from the other participants. By the end of the six weeks, you should have loads of new written material!
DATES: February 13 - March 20, 2019
WHEN: Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: Address given after registration has been confirmed
What Students Are Saying
“Christy is such a gifted writer and has that unique talent to equip other writers to share their own stories. She is safe. She is motivating. She is inspiring. I would not imagine going on this writing journey without her at my side.”
“I have been working on a memoir since June of 2018, and I wouldn't have even been able to start or get where I am today without the guidance and encouragement of Christy. The resources she recommends, the thoughtful comments she makes, and questions she asks are all so important on the journey of writing a meaningful and compelling story. If you're a writer or even contemplating writing, join the workshop. I know you will gain so much insight.”
Meet Your Instructor
Christy Krumm Richard is an educator and author of the book SHOT: A Couple, a Country, and the Stubborn Quest for Hope. She is fascinated by the way stories shape our culture and is passionate about giving people the tools and encouragement to bring their narratives to life. She has taught academic writing at colleges and universities around Southern California. Her work has been featured in online outlets, such as Woman’s Day, RELEVANT Magazine, and YourTango. When Christy is not behind a computer screen, you can find her baking cookies, or riding bikes around Long Beach, CA where she lives with her husband.
After the 90 days are up, does that mean I will be totally finished with my book?
In a word, No. :) What you will be finished with is a rough draft and that is a huge, huge accomplishment! It means you will have written more than you may have ever felt possible, learned about yourself and your own writing process, and have a tangible draft of your book. Which you can then move on to revise, rework, and edit the heck out of. (Note: There will be future workshops scheduled to help with this.)
What exactly does it mean to “fast-draft” your book?
Fast-drafting is a fun, liberating, and (let’s face it!) kinda scary process of letting go and putting word after word on the page. In most cases, this is done with a fair amount of prep work. Prep work includes brainstorming your themes, exploring the world of your story, outlining the plot, and getting to know your characters. We will spend an entire month doing those things.
Before beginning the fast-draft, you will have a chapter-by-chapter outline that will serve as a roadmap to guide you. That way, if you ever get stuck because, for example, chapter 5 just isn’t coming to you today, you can skip over it and move on to write chapter 6. You can always return to chapter 5 on a day when you feel readier to tackle it.
In addition, your two main goals in fast-drafting are to: (1) avoid obsessing over grammar, and (2) keep moving forward instead of looking back. Re-reading your writing when it’s in a rough form can sometimes be discouraging. Although, I do totally understand the desire to do this and struggle with it myself, as I am a perfectionist and a former college English teacher!
But. Both re-reading and fixing grammar can also be time consuming and are most efficiently done in the revision process, not the drafting process. Those are the goals, and we try our best to meet them while also giving ourselves grace when we don’t.
How many hours per week will I need to commit if I want to write a full rough draft of my book in 90 days?
A solid rough draft of a memoir or novel is generally around 45,000 words. You can feel free to write more than that, but 45,000 is what we are aiming for. You’ll have 8 weeks to write that much, and while math is never my strong suit, we can try a bit of basic math here ;)
45,000/8 = 5,625 words per week.
If you choose to write 5 days out of the week, that’s: 5,625/5 = 1,125 words per day.
If you choose to write every single day, that’s: 5,625/7 = 804 words per day.
The choice is yours, but we will do some timed, focused writing exercises in class to give you a rough idea of how many words you can write per hour. That will help you get a better understanding of how much time you will need to allow for each week to stay on track.
But what if I can’t write that fast and I fall behind?
No worries! This is a no-pressure workshop and you can absolutely choose to go at your own pace. The goal is to have fun, practice being disciplined, and write as much as YOU are capable of. For some, that will mean fast-drafting their whole book in 90 days. For others, it may mean writing half their book in that time. For others, they might complete a chapter outline, plus all of Act I.
Either way, this workshop will give you the tools you need so that once the course is over, you will know exactly how to finish and have a plan to complete your rough draft at a pace that is sustainable for you.
What type of feedback will I get on my writing?
The feedback you will receive from both me and the other students is all verbal feedback given in a positive light. The goal of this class is to keep writing without looking back. That part comes later – in the revision process.
In rough draft form, writing is raw and in progress. That means it is not the time or place to be critiquing it. For the scope of this class, all students will have the opportunity to read aloud excerpts they have written. The other participants and the instructor will listen carefully and then respond by noting which words and images stood out. What resonated about the writing? What was moving? That’s the type of honest feedback which will help you keep writing and pushing through to the very end of your book, or project.
What if I have to miss a class?
If you can’t make it to one of the workshops, send me an email after the class you missed and I will be happy to forward you the writing prompts and all materials from that night.
Do you have a refund policy?
For 6-Week General Workshops, once classes begin, you have a 7 day grace period to cancel your enrollment and receive a full refund. After the 7 day grace period, there are no refunds, and you are required to pay the full course fee no matter how many class meetings you attend. For 12-Week Memoir/Novel Workshops, once classes begin, you have a 14 day grace period to cancel your enrollment and receive a full refund, minus a $50 processing fee. After the 14 day grace period, there are no refunds, and you are required to pay the full course fee no matter how many class meetings you attend.
CKR Writing Workshops is committed to respecting your privacy. We do not and will never sell or rent your mailing address, email address, or any other data that can personally identify you in any way to an outside group. CKR Writing Workshops allows students to enroll for courses through electronic invoicing. To pay for the class online, you must provide your credit card information. CKR Writing Workshops does not store this information, and we will never share it with a third party.
Do you offer private writing coaching?
Absolutely! Please check out my Services page to learn more.
How can I be the first to know about new workshops being offered?
Hop on over to our email list and we’ll be sure to notify you when new workshops are announced!