Saturday, June 12, 2010

Taos Day 7

Everyone is tired. We have critiqued fourteen mss. this week, most pushing 10,000 words. The attendees have also listened to thirteen mini-lectures, written five short assignments, and launched into writing their stories for next week. The upcoming weekend was celebrated with a trip down to Taos for pizza. Down the mountain 3,000 feet, it is perhaps fifteen degrees warmer.

In the afternoon, Walter held a brain-storming session to demonstrate how to plot a novel. The novel used was Sean Craven's. Key scenes were identified, written on index cards, and rearranged to create an overall structure that had varied pace, a logical flow of events, and the best possible use of subplots. Other people contributed ideas. Some of Sean's original scenes were dropped, moved, or combined. He was enormously pleased with the result.

The plotting session, however, was briefly interrupted in the middle when lodge staff arrived to change bed linen and towels. Walter announced, "The cleaning staff just arrived, so if there's anything in your room you wish to conceal, leave now to do it." Half the class rushed off. Sometimes it's better to not know.

Memorable quotes from today's critique sessions:

"Cut down on the number of boners because in a sword fight they are not a good idea."

"I like anything with hopping Chinese vampires in it."

"I'm tone deaf to humor but I believe this is maybe probably very funny."

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