HOW TO LOOK—FINDING THE DESCRIPTIVE DETAILS
YOU NEED FOR YOUR NARRATIVE
Enrollment limit: 8 students
$130 new; $120 returning
The stories that often stay with us longest sink us into distinct territory; they allow us to not just see the characters and their environs, but to carry them within, as if the experience is a memory of one's own. Precise, careful, and vivid details lift the very best journalism and creative nonfiction off the page. Too often, however, details can become distraction or can bog narratives down. Sometimes, too, a reader can discern a detail as afterthought—something sketched-in hastily simply to add "color." These imprecise descriptors tell us little or nothing of the character or add little to sense of place, but more critically, they work against your storytelling.
This one-day seminar will help you as a writer begin to look at and for details that will serve your narrative, those components that will add another layer to your narrative by honing all of your senses to produce indelible stories. During the seminar, we will read and discuss selections crafted by writers who have mastered the art of observation, who know how to select the telling detail, and we will test our powers of visual storytelling by creating vignettes that rely on our powers of seeing/looking.
This seminar is open to students of all levels. It will be held in Los Feliz where coffee, sparkling water, and light snacks will be served.
August 25, 2018
1:00 to 5:00 pm
Lynell George is a journalist and essayist. As a staff writer for both the Los Angeles Times and L.A. Weekly, she focused on social issues, human behavior, and identity politics, as well as visual arts, music, and literature. She taught journalism at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, in 2013 was named a USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellow, and in 2017 received the Huntington Library’s Alan Jutzi Fellowship for her studies of California writer Octavia E. Butler. Her writings have appeared in several essay collections. A contributing arts-and-culture columnist for KCET | Artbound, her commentary has also been featured in numerous news and feature outlets including Boom: A Journal of California, Smithsonian, Zócalo Public Square, Los Angeles Review of Books, Vibe, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Essence, Black Clock, and Ms. She is the author of After/Image: Los Angeles Outside the Frame, her first book of essays and photography, exploring the city where she grew up. She is also the author of No Crystal Stair: African Americans in the City of Angels, a collection of features and essays drawn from her reportage. Her liner notes for Otis Redding Live At The Whisky A Go Go: The Complete Recordings won a 2017 GRAMMY.