Larry Brooks - Conference Takeaways

On Tuesday, I talked about doing hard things. That was one of my takeaways from the LDStorymakers Conference last weekend. Here are a couple more, both taken from Larry Brooks. His workshop on Saturday was golden. Apparently, he took a 16-hour siminar and boiled it down to 2 hours. 2 hours wasn't long enough. I'm thinking I would love to go to the real seminar someday.

The first big a-ha for me was that we need to have at least one or two of the "six core competencies" he talks about be "off the charts original, fresh, amazing, and able to keep the agent up at night thinking about how great it was." How awesome is that? We don't have to be amazing at everything. Just good enough. And then have at least one thing that rocks the house.

He also talked about making your characters three-dimensional. I've always heard that, but I didn't know how to do it. Well, he breaks it down in a way that makes me totally understand what needs to be done, although applying it won't be so easy, obviously. Basically, the first dimension is how the character acts, what she says, does, etc. The second dimension is the internal world of the character. It's the why for the things she says/does in the first dimension. And then the third is the character arc, which is how the character steps up (or down) when it counts. When the pressure is on, does she do the right thing despite her insecurities or whatever? (Here's a hint: If she's the protag, that should be a big old YES.)

Very, very cool stuff. I honestly don't think I can be an outliner, at least not at this stage in my career / learning process. I have to write, and messily, to discover the story. But once it's all out there on the page and it's time to put it together in a cohesive way, everything I learned at Mr. Brooks's seminar is going to be invaluable.

I can do hard things

This is a subject I've been thinking about a lot recently. Honestly, doing hard things hasn't always been my thing. But when I do push myself to do something hard, what an amazing feeling of accomplishment I get when I'm done!

So, my daughter's Young Women's group is doing a hard thing this year. They've decided to follow the example of another group and train for and complete a 22-mile walk from the Draper Temple to the Salt Lake Temple. (see this link to read a cool article about it.)

Elaine S. Dalton, General Young Women President, tells the story, and in her article, she gives this amazing quote, which I love:
There is no motivation in being involved in a mediocre cause. These young women were not only told that they were great, but they were given the opportunity to BE great, to ACT great, and to DO great things. 
For me, some of the hard things I've been doing lately are:

1) Organizing My House
2) Running Triathlons
3) Getting up at 4:30 in the morning to work out before my kids go to school

And here's one hard thing I used to do, but that I haven't done lately:

4) Write Novels.

This weekend, I went to the LDStorymakers conference, and I got some new motivation and encouragement to start writing again. For me, writing is even harder in some ways than getting up at 4:30 in the morning and training for a triathlon. It's harder because my creative brain has to be turned on and enthused. It's harder because of the fear of failure and rejection.

But, I can do hard things, right? It's time to step it up.