The morning seminar was John Capouya talking about ways that as writers of fiction or narrative non-fiction we can employ some of the techniques of screenwriting. There’s a lot to be said for the highly formalized structures that screenwriters apply from the “save the cat” approach to making the protagonist sympathetic to the audience to the three-act structure. As Capouya observed, rarely does structure become cliché. Characters and plots and language, sure, but not structure.
“Give the audience what it wants but not necessarily in the way that it expects.” —William Goldman.
We had a double-dose of workshop including my work getting examined and the academic part of the day concluded with a presentation about poetry publishing from Enid Shomer, stepping in for Barbara Ras. It was interesting to get a sense of the process of selecting and publishing poetry collections happens at a university press, although it only made me more inclined to get a mainstream publishing deal for my own work.
The day was intended to conclude with a social outing to Davis Island. Unfortunately, this happened:
and also this:
although we weren’t the only ones to have a bad day:
needless to say our social outing was cut a bit short and I ended up returning to the hotel to begin my reading and writing period a little early.