Spent this past weekend in scenic and toasty-warm Austin, Texas. While I didn’t dig the warm (read: ghastly hot) weather, I did receive a warm welcome from the Austin Cats! writing group for my Scene Construction Workshop.
btw, Austin Cats! was started by Blake Snyder, who wrote SAVE THE CAT!, the second best book on screenwriting ever written…
The event went wonderfully well, and I have Austin Cats! lead, Melody Lopez to thank for arranging, wrangling, and prepping the beautifully run event. The participants were serious about their writing, had stellar questions, and (I hope!) learned a lot about their stories, writing, and scene construction in particular.
I talked about what it takes to write a good scene (which took most of Saturday morning) and talked about scenes from movies everyone had seen, and what made those scenes tick (which took up the rest of Saturday morning) and then we got down to the heart of the workshop, which was their scenes.
I had spent the previous two weeks bleeding red ink on eleven of the attendee’s scenes and, when we sat down to work, everyone had a .pdf of all the scenes on their laptops. I had emailed the .pdf in black and white, which spared everyone the horror of all that red ink! The rest of Saturday and most of Sunday was a discussion, line by line, of how to make their scenes better. What worked amazingly well was that everyone learned from everyone else’s scenes and their shared problems.
It was a marvelous workshop and I really enjoyed the eager spirit of the Austin Cats! members.
Here’s to Melody and her amazing group!