The Elements of Writing is an essential reference for writers and storytellers. I use it myself and recommend it to my students. The classic literary examples are extremely helpful. I feel smarter just having this book by my bedside, and I discover new insights every time I pick it up.
– Lee-Sean Huang, cofounder and creative director, Foosa
Charlie Euchner brings a broad range of experience to teaching writing. Here’s what people say about Euchner’s work on all our offerings — the book, seminars and presentations, and coaching and consulting:
Seminars, Classes, and Presentations
“We’ve already seen a marked improvement,” says a corporate training director (More)
—Alan Z. Fromm, director of training, Amneal Pharmaceuticals
“Excellent … Very valuable writing techniques … Passionate,” say Fortune 500 executives (More)
— Assessments of Fortune 500 executives at Richmond Events
“A good investment of your time and money,” says Ann Marie Sidman of Gen Re (More)
— Ann Marie Sidman, Vice President, Learning and Development, Gen Re, a Berkshire Hathaway Company
“Practical tools, enthusiasm, and confidence,” says one Washington mother of her daughter’s experience (More)
— Mary Beth Pendley Ray, mother, National Cathedral School senior, Washington, D.C.
‘Skills and style are way above average. … I attribute this solely to your teaching,” says Yale graduate (More)
I’m a couple months into my first year at the University of Chicago Law School (and loving it). One of my classes is Legal Research and Writing, and my professor just repeats everything you taught us in the writing seminars I took freshman year. We had our first assignment due a couple of weeks ago, and then had individual meetings for feedback. My professor told me that my writing skills and style are well above average and that I write simply and to the point, which is exactly how legal writing should be. I attribute this solely to your teaching.
Camila Panama, Yale 2011[/EXPAND]
“A bounty of useful information and advice,” says Chris Carroll of Vanderbilt University (More) The genius of a Charlie Euchner presentation is in the simple eloquence with which he delivers a bounty of usable information and advice. He connects with people using a conversational style loaded with ideas borne from his years of application and research. Given his impressive academic and real-world experience, he’s earned his credentials as an intellectual, but he is as accessible as an old friend. Listening to Charlie extemporaneously engage a group is an exhibition of a brilliant and nimble mind at work.
— Chris Carroll, Director of Student Media, Vanderbilt University
“Motivates individual transformation,” says Harris Stone of The Graduate Institute (More)
— Harris Stone, Chancellor, The Graduate Institute
“A hit,” says Irv Richardson of the NEA (More)
— Irv Richardson, Coordinator for Public Education and School Support, National Education Association, New Hampshire
“Memorable … elegant,” says Brad Gioia of Montgomery Bell Academy (More)
— Bradford Gioia, Headmaster, Montgomery Bell Academy
“A treat,” says Lesley Mills of Griswold Special Care (More)
— Lesley Mills, Griswold Special Care
“Entertaining,” says Gary Alan Jaeger of Vanderbilt University (More)
— Gary Alan Jaeger, The Writing Studio, Vanderbilt University[/EXPAND]
“How easy … A wonderful present … Motivating … Excellent … Enlightening,” according to evaluations of seminars (More)
“I liked how he showed how EASY all these skills are. Until now, I thought writing was some skill that only a few people could get. That if you weren’t born to be a writer, you didn’t have a chance. He showed us that’s not the case.”
“Thank you for spreading such clear and helpful insights. The kids were energized by your visit and web site and proceeded to spend the period removing conjugations of ‘to be’ from their drafts. One student claimed 42 instances. Others yelped in pain. Yet, the results of editing, as you said, were instantaneous and gratifying for all. I also promoted your theory of threes and helped them apply it to The Crucible. Your formula illuminated their thinking about the text and is much more practical than asking them to note contrasts, or foils, or juxtaposition.”
“The Elements of Writing seminar was a wonderful present since I need to improve my writing and learn how to teach it better. I only wish we had this as a first workshop. I was surprised all day, but also understood what you were talking about right away. To use this concise format was amazingly helpful.”
“Early in my first semester at Yale, I got a C on a history paper. That semester I took Charlie’s class and learned how to write anything. At the end of the semester, my history teacher let us rewrite a paper. I used Charlie’s techniques and turned that C into an A.”
“There were so many useful tools that you passed along. I will pass this along to the writing specialist in my building.”
“Great job! You’re an inspiration! I loved learning how to make connections to the human experience. Starting with storytelling is really the way to go!”
“The little tricks can make all the difference. Having our students write in a landscape format with extra space will help them to write better.
“I enjoyed learning the [strategy of] ‘Start strong, finish strong.’ It’s a great way to get students to focus on their sentences. Learning about all the threes in writing helps me to remember the lessons for all aspects of writing.
“Charlie shared a powerful message about Aristotle’s narrative arc and the importance of focusing on a specific desire in driving the narrative of the story.”
“Charles Euchner was motivating. He not only challenged us to expose ourselves to unknown parts of history, but encouraged us to find our desires–our specific throughlines.”
“He presented ideas of identifying the narrative arc — and in the process, he encouraged us to look more deeply into our own lives and our passion for the heroes in our world.”
“The one-minute presentations, which started with ‘So there I was,’ was memorable.”
“The videos were excellent. I loved The Elements of Writing Workbook. It clearly explained your writing code. I enjoyed your ‘tricks of the trade.’ They will be used! What can be better?”
“What will I remember? 1. The reader is the most important person in the equation. 2. We are all communicators. 3. First draft of everything is s—. Thank you for the website and workbook!”
“I found your information about character development the most helpful. The way characters interact tells the story. Writing strong sentences in the landscape format is also something I will use.”
“The use of threes throughout the seminar as you described each phase [of The Elements of Writing] was very useful. The tee-short helped me remember! Learning the eight archetypes helped clarify story characters.”
“Now I really understand: storytelling is all about tension, change, and growth. We need to train ourselves to observe details. People notice what they don’t expect to see. Cut out the crap like too many adjectives and adverbs.”
“This presentation was enlightening and validating—enlightening because of the tools you gave us, validating because you reinforced what I try to do in my class. One suggestion: Tell more risqué jokes—they’re good.”
“I loved it. So much good stuff—the character dossier, the emphasis on action verbs, archetypes and character-building through interactions, put surprises into your stories, the setting must be small and knowable.”
“You made a great impression on me when you made us conscious of our word choices; we must choose words to suggest our recipients to desire what they’re about to do or receive. You pointed out that the most important person in the equation is the reader—think of the reader as someone like yourself. ‘Front and follow’ is a great reminder of how to keep the reader in mind while telling stories. Understanding archetypes (and using The Wizard of Oz> as an example) was powerful for me.”
“Call him ‘coach,’” says World War I historian William Walker.(More)
“Call him ‘coach,’ for that’s what Charlie Euchner is. He’s an extraordinary mentor who can help convert a competent writer into a compelling writer. Like every great coach, Charlie practices his trade with equal portions of instruction, humor, encouragement and, yes, more than a little inspiration. Give him a try, and he’ll help you transform your game.”
—William T. Walker, former associate vice president, College of William and Mary
“Trust me; it works,” says former Ambassador Nancy E. Soderberg (More)
—Former Ambassador Nancy E. Soderberg and author of The Superpower Myth[/EXPAND]
“Equal portions of instruction, humor, encouragement, and inspiration,” says William Walker (More)Call him “coach,” for that’s what Charlie Euchner is. He’s an extraordinary mentor who can help convert a competent writer into a compelling writer. Like every great coach, Charlie practices his trade with equal portions of instruction, humor, encouragement and, yes, more than a little inspiration. Give him a try, and he’ll help you transform your game.
—William T. Walker, former associate vice president, College of William and Mary
“I learned more about writing than I had in an entire lifetime,” says Lesley Roy of Yale University (More)
—Lesley Roy, Yale Initiative in Religion, Science, and Technology
“Gave me the high-leverage skills I needed to write my first book,” says Tania von Allmen (More)
—Tania Von Allmen, author, Return of the Phoenix
“Both useful and a pleasure,” according to Columbia writing professor Aaron Ritzenberg(More)
The Elements of Writing is the rare writer’s handbook that is both useful and a pleasure to read. The book’s structure is original and smart; aspiring writers can read the book cover-to-cover or can look up specific issues. Besides articulating his own “tricks of the trade,” Euchner offers a huge, wonderful array of examples. In clear, lucid terms, The Elements of Writing explains and shows what makes for strong prose.
— Aaron Ritzenberg, Department of English, Yale University
“I wish I had known about this years ago,” says Australian author Marian Edmunds (More)
–Marion Edmunds, Australian author
“A dead-simple tool,” according to business consultant Gerry Lantz (More)
— Gerry Lantz, president of Stories That Work [/EXPAND]
“Inspired, but practical as well,” says author Katie Hafner (More) Charles Euchner’s Elements of Writing isn’t merely inspired but practical as well. Euchner teaches by showing some of the world’s best writers at work: Joan Didion, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Norman Mailer. Aspiring wordsmiths and established professional writers alike will benefit from Euchner’s inventive approach.
— Katie Hafner, technology Writer for The New York Times and author of A Romance on Three Legs
“A must read,” says teacher David Cass (More)
— David Cass, teacher and advisor at The Met School, Providence, R.I.