Today, I presented my first “Red Carpet Writing: How to Hook Your Readers Hollywood Style” workshop at the Scottsdale Civic Library. I decided to focus on giving the attendees an energetic experience, involving them through questions and answers as much as possible, in order to create a lively and interactive workshop. With this in mind, I prepared by studying notes and the books in the series Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder, which inspired my workshop theme. I also brought my easel and some markers because I read somewhere that I cannot for the life of me recall now that an audience enjoys and retains more when the speaker draws. The drawings don’t necessarily even need to relate to the topic. Thankfully, mine did.
I count today’s workshop as a success and here are my criteria for measurement:
1. I involved the attendees and each seemed at ease. At least half offerred a question or an answer and every head in the room nodded at least once.
2. The attendees took notes.
3. Two attendees stayed after to further discuss the topic.
4. I found, when imaginary books are in the room, I do an excellent Vanna White style demonstration of them.
5. I got some laughs and did not run out of things to share.
6. I made two errors, both were corrected by an attendee. Though I was thoroughly embarrassed over having made the blunders, I believe I handled each without defensiveness. What were my errors? First, that a line of dialogue in a screenplay does not equate with a minute of film but that a page does. Yes, that makes far more sense. Also, I forgot to say this is a do, not a don’t, on one of the tips from the Snyder books.
7. As a workshop Goodie, I brought door tags with slogans on one side and my promo material on the other.
“Have you seen my muse?” “Do Not Disturb (except for chocolate, cocktails, or ‘the call’)” “Shhh…this is the good part.” “Shhh…author at work.” and “Will Write For Food” each went over really well. I even ran out and got asked for more. I am happy to mail a tag to anyone who would like one. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
8. I left feeling energized.
I vote, a success. How about you?
I feel so grateful to have been a part of the workshops today, to be a Desert Rose RWA member, and to be a writer. My biggest hope today is that my ideas helped energize every writer who attended and that maybe I shared a tip that will make their road a bit easier, a bit more fun, to travel on. I still have a lot to learn, but I’m happily getting there.
Thank you so much,