I took a class at ACFW called Six Stage Plot Structure. Loved it. Michael Hauge taught it, and although the class is meant for screenplays, the points he made work in the book world too (with some tweaks). I love the idea of creating a story with cinematic quality ~ probably because I'm such a visual thinker. How about you? When you're reading a book, is your mind watching the film? Do you 'see' the characters walking, talking, tripping, smooching (for all you romance readers ;-)? Michael used Shrek, Hitch, & Lars and the Real Girl to demonstrate his points. So, yeah, the classroom with all the laughter coming from it ... that was ours ;)
Also took a class from Jenny B. Jones on writing humor in fiction. Good stuff in there. (And she won not one, but two Carol Awards during the banquet!!!) Jenny pointed out that humor isn't just the slapstick kind in comedies. It's also used to diffuse dark moments in drama. Case in point: Steel Magnolias. I've got a love/hate relationship with that movie. So painful to watch. But the clip Jenny showed was spot on. Sally Field is railing and weeping over the death of her daughter, and just when you feel like your heart can't handle another word, one of the other characters steps in with desperate humor, a startling moment that diffuses one of the darkest scenes of the movie. Excellent class.
The photo is of Jim "Rooms" Rubart and me at the ACFW banquet. (That's CS Lakin looking thoughtful and scholarly in the background ...;) Jim's a B&H author too, and I enjoyed getting to know him better. We talked about our kids, writing, and the wisdom of ordering fish at a restaurant in a landlocked state. Lol
I arrived home and haven't stopped once. In addition to all the fun stuff of mothering (taxi driving, lunch making, homework shepherding, yada yada), I've been tearing through the edits of my next book with my editor, Julee Schwarzburg. On a tight deadline, so we're working fast! Hope to write more soon!
Have a beachy day, my friends ~ wherever you are!