Robin Perini's workshop

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I read all day yesterday, finished MORE THAN FIENDS, which was sexy as hell, and read half of VIRGIN RIVER, which has a great supporting cast, not much internal conflict for the hero. I did start itching to write, though I’m going to wait till I finish HARRY POTTER.

Today, I promised my notes from Robin Perini’s workshop, Backbone of Story. She was an awesome speaker, presented her ideas clearly. Answered questions clearly and concisely. I got a bit jittery sitting in the VERY crowded room while she showed some scary spreadsheets, but I learned a lot.

Each turning point should contain the following:

◊ Deep character
◊ Theme
◊ Braiding internal and external conflict
◊ Layering

Actions should impact character emotions. How they feel/react is what moves the story forward. The choices they make based on their emotions is what drives the book. (I thought that was brilliant.)

There are 4 types of scenes:

◊ Exposition
◊ Character
◊ Plot
◊ Conflict

The greatest danger to the character is not plot but their character flaw. The villain should be the personification of that flaw, and that flaw is the danger to the main character. Everything in the story needs to attack that flaw, test it, and the attacks continue until the black moment forces an irrevocable change in character.

She had TONS of charts and worksheets in the conference book, maybe if you email her, she would send them.

Still revising Surface….

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Kelly Boyce said...

Great notes, Mary. I'm going to copy and paste that into my things to remember file!

Toni Anderson said...

Thanks for all the notes Mary :)

Anonymous said...

Mary, thanks for the notes! Good workshop indeed. And thanks for the post on agent panel!

MJFredrick said...

Very welcome! Wish it was more detailed!


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I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
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