The community I work in, the people I work with, and the projects I get to work on . . . it's simply amazing the opportunities I am able to take advantage of by virtue of being where I am --
One of these is the chance to work with the brilliant Katherine Farmer. I've just worked with Katherine in her Mid-Winter Timpanogos Storytelling Festival workshop on Script and Text Analysis.
Someday soon there will be a Katherine Farmer Script and Text textbook. Someday soon more people will have the ability to study what I have been learning for the last several years.
I can't really go into deep details here, it's not my intellectual property, but I'll share a bit of how Script and Text has changed the way I write.
As a writer that hears voices first, I pretty much just follow my character's conversations.
It's all middle of the night scribbled dialogue. Lights off, still asleep scribbling.
Eventually I drag myself to the computer where I translate and transcribe the notes.
After a batch of dialogue is done, I'll find a day to sit at the computer and this is where some magic starts to happen, I become my character. My vision narrows and I am inside the story. I hear, smell, and feel. I am literally blind and deaf to anything around me--proven fact, I had a worker come in my house, start using an air compressor and hammering away on the mantle we were having him build, and it was a full hour before I realized it.
I feel great when I'm writing. I am energized and empowered. I am filled with ideas.
I save the file and go back to scribbling new midnight conversations.
HERE is where it gets hard -- I re-read what I wrote. And I hate it. I know I'll never be a writer, I'll never be published because this stuff is complete crap.
THIS is where I need script and text analysis--see image above--I analyze. I identify role functions, I make sure my win/loss scenario matches up to the kind of story I am writing. I look for my supporting characters, I determine if I have any missing characters. Did I place a body in as a SYC (my antagonist). I refuse to have any weakly embodied functions. I want power, I want conflict! From the beginning I have an exact idea of how this book is going to end, it's why I write, to get that ending. Analysis puts me back on track and keeps me focused.
And now I start over. I rewrite what I wrote. And repeat, and repeat, and repeat.
Maybe someday I'll have more than picture books to show for it.
...in the meantime, I want a big wall-sized white board where I can do my analysis on a full scale--like this analysis of Enchanted :)
HA HA HA! I've found a new illustration that is so me!!