International award-winning author Ara Grigorian will present “Story Beats–Your Story’s Heart Beat” at the monthly meeting of the San Fernando Valley branch of the California Writers Club. The program will begin at 1 p.m., on Saturday, May 4 on the campus of the Motion Picture and TV Fund, 23388 Mulholland Drive, Woodland Hills, in the Saban Community Room.
Grigorian is best known for his best-selling “second chance” romance novels “Game of Love” (winner of Outstanding Romance, 2016, IAN Book of the Year Awards and Readers’ Favorite, 2015, International Book Award, Gold, sports category) and “Ten Year Dance.”
Grigorian will play clips from movies such as “Hunger Games,” “Notting Hill,” Silver Linings Playbook,” and others, to demonstrate how concepts when shown in vivid detail can provide a powerful example that writers can apply to their own works in progress.
“The big take-away from my presentation is that all stories have patterns,” Grigorian explained. “We can learn what drives the heart of a story by studying story beats. And when you understand the concept, it is immediately actionable. You can develop story arc elegantly or revise a story that has been sputtering.”
Grigorian wears many other hats including entertainment industry technology executive when he is not writing critically-acclaimed romance stories that focus on the themes of choices, relationships and second chances.
“As a story coach, when I work with a writer on their manuscript, my goal is to help them produce the best work possible,” he said. “Specifically, I’m looking for story and how to make the story be true to the concept. I focus on the elements of the story, the arc, the character, the motivations, the story beats, the gaps and the payoffs.”
Grigorian has led workshops at various conferences including the Southern California Writers’ Conference, Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Conference, Santa Barbara Writers Conference, and the highly popular Novel Intensive which he co-leads with bestselling novelist Janis Thomas. He has also written for a children’s television pilot.
“Every great novel has one thing in common – a great story,” Grigorian continued. “But what is a story? Story is not just plot and it’s not just characters. Instead it’s how that specific plot transforms that specific protagonist.
“Here’s the good news: anyone can become a better storyteller. The best way to learn is to decompose and analyze your favorite work like a surgeon until you see inherent patterns that make all stories flow. These internal patterns are story beats. They are in fact the heartbeat of a story.”
Before Grigorian’s presentation, author Rita Keeley-Brown (“Good Luck Mrs. Brown”) will offer 20-minute workshop entitled “Just Write.” “What causes ‘writers block’ or ‘blank page syndrome’ is usually how-to-start or stop worrying about the finished project,” Brown said.
The California Writers Club welcomes writers in all genres, and at all stages of their careers. Monthly meetings are held on the first Saturday of every month except July and August. To attend workshops, programs and other events, or to learn more about events and activities for writers in the San Fernando Valley, visit www.cwc.sfv.org. Guests who attends the monthly meetings are asked to donate $10.