I belong to an organization called Novelists, Inc., whose mission it is to provide multi-published novelists with information and support. It's a great organization. Recently on the NINC email loop, one of the long-published members pondered what those of us who've been writing forever had to learn from writing workshops. The answer, of course, is that we can learn something from every single workshop we attend, even if that workshop has nothing to do with writing. Honestly, I'm of the mind that I can pick up something I can use in my writing from a speech on dairy farming or coal mining. If I have my writing cap on, everything looks like an idea to me.
But today I attended a workshop that truly can teach an old dog new tricks. Alexandra Sokoloff is a friend who moved to Raleigh four years ago, around the same time I did. She and I were welcomed into the group of writers who've become my writing support network here in North Carolina, those women who are my retreat partners and fellow brainstormers. Alex moved from LA, where she was a screen writer. She's now a novelist writing thrillers, and her workshop today was on using screenwriting techniques in novel writing. I know I'll never look at a movie the same way now that she's opened my eyes to film structure, and I can't wait to take another look at my work-in-progress from this new perspective. Alex has an incredible blog that covers what we learned today and much, much more.
Alex and I both have books coming out May 26th and we'll be holding our book launches (with refreshments, of course!) at Raleigh's Quail Ridge Books just a few days apart (Alex will be there June 4th and I'll be there June 9th). If you're in the neighborhood, come join us!