… she was freaking out about her screenwriting course at UBC. Well, I did it and not only did I survive it, but I loved it. The geek in me really responded to the “rules” of it — the structure, the formatting — and actually, when you have setting, dialogue, action and reaction (from the characters) to work with, it’s kinda amazing how much you can get across without that access to inner monologue I was angsting over. And dialogue! Do you know how little dialogue you really need?! (Of course you do; I’m just waking up to this. Ignore me.) I’d write something I thought was pretty minimal, and the rest of the class (we workshopped our scripts — it was a really collaborative process, which was also different and cool) would say, “you don’t need this much,” and I’d strip some more until all I had was the nugget — all I needed. Good lessons learned. Great class, great teacher, great times and fun in Vancouver. I’ll be doing it again next summer, for the last three credits I’ll need in that genre.

Upcoming this fall — more novel! Hurrah! The up-in-the-air novel class has come together and I have to have 80 pages ready by September (insert manic laughter here). But actually, Boyfriend has been away the last couple of weeks and I’ve made seriously good use of my time, and now I have 80 pages all in a row. I have to revise, shuck and winnow (I have no idea if that makes sense — a farming girl I am not), but it’s gonna be OK. I feel like I’ve got to know Remy, my main character, and Sophie, the other main character, a lot better — and most importantly, what they want.

I’ve been reading a book on writing called “From Where You Dream” by Robert Olen Butler (Pulitzer Prize winner, byotch, with a foreword by the amazing Janet Burroway), which is fantastic — I wish to evangelize about it to everyone. I like what he has to say about writing process, and yearning as a tool for character. Write from the heart, he says, and I’m paraphrasing and making it sound unbelievably hokey, but it isn’t when he talks about it; my favourite books and stories get me in the heart. I admire those clever, quirky short stories you seem to get all over the place, but they’re “head” stories, yeah? I don’t feel ’em.

It’s been a good summer. Lots of writing, lots of relaxing, perhaps not *quite* enough work (although that’s picking up) — it’s always the one and not the other —  lots of getting in touch with old friends, too, via the wee miracle that is Facebook. Life=good, and now I’m hitting publish and hitting the novel file. Later.

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