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.