Story Consulting for Screen & Prose
Claire Mulligan at Luminous Edits in Victoria, BC, will bring to your project over fifteen years'
experience as an editor of fiction, creative non-fiction, short stories, essays, screenplays and screenplay adaptations. As the author of two novels of historical fiction and a passionate student of history, Claire can be of particular help to authors of historical fiction, memoirs, family history, historical non-fiction, and historical fantasy.
Claire holds an MFA in screenwriting and a BA in English. She teaches creative writing at Camosun College and the University of Victoria. Her courses include: Writing History, Writing the Family Memoir, Writing Historical Fiction, Dialogue Bootcamp, and Screen Adaptation. She is a member of PEAVI (Professional Editors Association of Vancouver Island and Victoria) and is on the board of CineVic (Victoria's independent film society). Her literary work is represented by the Cook/McDermid agency.
Her first novel The Reckoning of Boston Jim (Brindle & Glass) is set in British Columbia in 1863 during the tumultuous building of the Cariboo Wagon Road. It was nominated for the BC Book Prize as well as the Giller, Canada's most prestigious prize. Her second novel The Dark ( Doubleday/Random House) was nominated for the Canadian Authors Award and was translated into French by Sophie Voillot as Dans Le Noir (Editions alto). The Dark is based on the true story of the infamous Fox sisters and the rise of Spiritualism in the 19th century.
Her first screenplay, The Still Life of Annika Myers, has been made into a short film by director Matthew Blecha. Most recent awards for The Still Life of Annika Myers include the audience favourite award at the Ottawa film festival 2019, as well best actress awards for Barbara Wallace from the Overcome Film Festival and the Global Shorts Awards, 2019. The film is showing at the prestigious Sedona International Film Festival in February of 2020.
Get ready to be transported through the history of story-telling's most influential genres in The Well-Storied Apprentice, a one-of-a-kind, integrated creative writing course that uses flash fiction prompts to unlock the crucial elements that turn any subject into a story.
We begin with Greek tragedy to illuminate cause and effect; then onto fairy-tales to explore the inciting incident; ghost stories to uncover tension; one-act stage plays to highlight dramatic conflict;
great speeches to nail-down rhetoric; and classic mysteries to solve the how-tos of plot.
Meet your mentors
Aristotle, The Brothers Grim, Edgar Allen Poe, Anton Chekov, Winston Churchill, Agatha Christie
and many more.
Hands down, Claire delivered a truly amazing writing course. What she calls her “integrated learning approach” brings together everything from the history and craft of fiction, to the essence of story-telling, to the best way to learn to write.
It is my delight to recommend this course to any and all creative writers, aspiring or seasoned. -- Joanie McEwen
“The Art of the Story is an engaging, challenging and above all fun journey through the different genres of fiction from the fairy tale to mystery, from children’s stories to creative non-fiction. By using writing projects of 100 – 300 words Claire Mulligan teaches writers the power of words and how best to use them.” – Kat Nicholls
“Claire’s classes are dynamic, well-researched and a ton of fun. I always come away with practical tools and great ideas." - Tanya,
WHAT TO EXPECT EACH WEEK
·A study of a story genre, its most influential practitioner (s), and the aspect of story-craft the genre highlights
A lecture with slides, examples, and short videos
In-class prompts and/or exercises on an aspect of craft
An assigned short story for discussion on what exactly makes a story . . . a story
Flash fiction or CNF homework prompts that will generate 6-300-word stories that you can develop, adapt, or polish up for submission to magazines and contests.
And more . . .
A mid-term and final test. Test!? Let’s call them reviews
A thorough understanding of concepts such as peripeteias anaphora, objective correlative, Chekov’s gun, and chiasmus with which to amaze your friends and send your writing craft to the next level
A one-on-one editorial consult once the class is complete
What makes a story, a story. Understanding literary versus genre fiction.
IT’S ALL GREEK TO US
Aristotle's top tips. What the genre of tragedy can teach all writers about cause and effect
AND THE MORAL OF THE STORY
Aesop, the thematic premise, and the character ‘mark’
I HARDLY RECOGNIZE YOU
Ovid and the importance of a protagonist’s transformation
INTO THE MAGIC REALM
What wondertales can teach us about the inciting incidence, the bargain, the trial, and the crossing of the threshold
WE WANTED DIFFERENT THINGS
Anton Chekov’s plays and short stories and how dramatic conflict is central to story and to the dramatic scene
IT WAS PURGATORY
Existentialism, Kafka, and turning the real into the surreal
KEEP ME WAITING
Tension, the untrustworthy narrator, and all things uncanny as the short story comes of age with Edgar Allen Poe
THE PLOTTER’S PLOT ABOUT PLOT:
Agatha Christie & Conan Doyle and how to mastermind a plot, any plot through the study of the genres of mystery and crime
DID I SAY SOMETHING FUNNY?
Drilling into witty dialogue with Mark Twain and Jane Austen and learning how humour can enhance any story
NOW THIS IS IMPORTANT
Dickens and the power of social commentary in fiction. How to avoid appropriation, and how to write with tact and sensitivity about the ‘other’
THE FUTURE TENSE
H.G. Wells, Ursula K. le Quin and the uses of extrapolation and metaphor
HEAR ME NOW: RHETORIC AND THE ROUSING SPEECH
Churchill ,Toni Morrison and what great speeches can teach us about the many tricks of rhetoric and style
META-FICTION, ALL ABOUT ITSELF
Lydia Davis, M.A.C Farrante. Punctuation and its joys!!!
OF LIFE AND KEEN OBSERVATIONS
Montaigne & Annie Dillard and finding story structure in real life
James Gleick, Julia Blackburn, Eduardo Galeano, and how to write compelling biographical stories
Beatrix Potter, Kate DiCamilo and how plain language and visual imagery in children’s literature inspires clarity in language
SHOW ME MORE: SCREENWRITING & ADAPTATION
Billie Wilder and what screenwriting teaches about how to show not tell and how adaptation can improve the craft of any writer.
Claire has this amazing ability to see both big picture things alongside the tiniest details (ship's lighting, pockets, 19th-century names of body parts, etc.) and the book is so much better because of her. Claire, thank you ---Peggy Herring, Anna, Like Thunder, Brindle & Glass, 2018
In my opinion, Claire is one of the finest editors I have had the privilege to learn from -- Marylyn Holman, Rylan's Highway, 2019
Claire helped me tremendously in organizing a long story. Her help was invaluable and took my work to the next level. I highly recommend her as an editor and mentor. -- Amando Garcia, The Trip
Claire’s ability to write award-winning stories makes her an impeccably effective editor - Susan Mongar, Shame on Me, A Memoir
Claire brings an encyclopedia of helpful fixes to your writing problem--new learning, changes in viewpoint, voice, conflict and drama. With sensitivity (she’s been there herself) she gives you the tools and encouragement to rework your story so that it shines brighter.
- Erik Peterson, Harry Bennett
Are you just embarking upon a project? Pondering the pros and cons of one story over another? Have a thrilling ghost of an idea? What next? The combinations and approaches are both daunting and exciting.
Is the structure and content of your manuscript more or less finalized? Line and copy-editing is a word-by-word process and includes ...
Have you completed the first or second draft of your manuscript? Are you worried about clarity? Structure? Character development? Plot threads? Marketability? Worry no more.
Do you have a short story, novel, or memoir you would like to turn into a screenplay? Are you struggling with the structure and dialogue of an existing screenplay?
CONTACT CLAIRE FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
a brief synopsis (200 words max) or notes about your project
the genre, target audience, and word count
the service you are considering
We can then set up a phone or Skype session to discuss which service best suits your needs. Custom packages are available.
MENTORING & STORY CONSULTING ($40 an hour)
CONTENT EDITING (.018 per word) & EDITORIAL REVIEWS (.010 per word)
LINE & COPY EDITING (.013 -.020 per word)
SCREENPLAY EDITING & ADAPTATION (variable)
The Dark is a triumph. It delves into the past with skill and precision. It feels palpably real and it is hugely entertaining. — Vancouver Sun
Style meet content; content meet style—Mulligan’s novel has it all. Emotionally resonant and artfully drawn. Mulligan’s style is wry, assured and gorgeously wrought. An equal stylistic phenomenon is that the 500 pages feel as precise as a novella. -- The Globe and Mail
[An] intricately detailed venture. Boundaries of all kinds are thrown into shadow—not only between life and death, but between truth and mystery, fraud and sincere longing. — Georgia Straight
Mulligan has a historian's eye and a storyteller's touch. She is a master at capturing the cadence--and the spirits--of the time. -- The Gazette, Montreal
The Dark walks a tightrope between mystery and literary fiction. Mulligan's writing is sharp and propulsive ... and the dense, detailed plot refuses to buckle. -- Quill & Quire
The historical milieu is breathtakingly convincing ... The Reckoning of Boston Jim marks the appearance of a writer fully in command of her talents. It deserves every accolade that can be applied to it. -- Vancouver Sun
Mulligan writes with compassion for her characters and a sharp eye for detail. So deft is Mulligan’s touch and so skillful is her writing that the larger themes of the novel never overwhelm what remains. A sensitive and first-rate piece of story-telling. -- BC Studies
Rich in character and detail. It is a novel of obsession, constructed through an intricate weave of stories. A clever and assured first novel that deserves to be noticed. -- Quill and Quire
A complex and evocative exploration of the repayment of ethical debts and the power of human memory ... Mulligan's novel leaves readers with despair at human greed and cruelty and simultaneous hope through its rich evocation of time, place, and the force of human character. -- Can Lit