In the last two months I've spent two days focused solely on my craft - one day in October and one day in November. It's like feeding your soul when you spend a full day learning and soaking in new ideas. Some ideas float off your back others stick like glue.
The first all day workshop I did was with Alexandra Sokoloff - she was a great speaker and now I really can't watch a movie without thinking of all the high points the movie is hitting and which part of the movie they are occurring in - ie. 15 minute mark, halfway through, three quarters. I swear the first movie I watched after her workshop I timed it and it hit every point she mentioned. It was a great way to look at your novel too. Using the 3 act structure isn't a new concept but I didn't really get it, until I saw her workshop. So now I'll be looking at where in my novel I'm at and which high points I need to hit. She's a great speaker and check out her website to see if she's speaking near you. Definitely worth checking her out!
The second all day workshop I did was with the fabulous Michael Hauge. Fellow WinkGirl Lesley-Ann Smith loves Michael and his workshops - now I know why. Man did I have so many moments where, I finally get it! Yep I can definitely use that! He was very friendly too and when I wanted clarification on something he was more than happy to give my the answer to help me along. His principle was very similar to Alexandra's. I guess he was the original person to use screenwriting and transferring it to novel writing as he's been in the industry for a long time. Again definitely check out his website and find out where he's speaking next, it won't be a waste of your time.
Even though the two workshops were very similar I got different things out of both of them. And that is what happens when you go to national conferences. So many workshops which may have similar themes will resonate for some but will leave others cold.
Now for me what I have to do is put into practice what I've learned.