I can’t begin to tell you how stressful work has been lately. This speech writing gig is hard yakka. Still, I’ve resolved to worry less and make my time away from work more productive in terms of the blog and my own writing. One thing I’m very glad about is that I made the time to go to the inaugural Varuna alumni master class, the brainchild of the illustrious Charlotte Wood.
The full day class – Screenwriting Principles & Structures, Filmic Solutions for Novelists’ Problems by film-maker and screenwriter David Roach – was held at the historic Carrington Hotel in Katoomba and I can’t fully express my joy at being back in Varuna country. I love Katoomba – just being there makes me feel writerly, productive, and calm all at once. David was fabulous. Apart from entertaining us on a set of bongos (while getting us to think about the accents in a scene), he really did provide a room full of novelists with some, well, pretty novel solutions to problems of structure. And every writer knows the heartache of structure. David even went so far as sharing his own tips for sturdy structure, which I’ve written in my notes as: David’s 14 Points to help understand story structure (esp after first draft). Helpful? Yes. Very.
The whole day was a fabulous experience and well worth the two planes, six trains and two bus journeys I had to make from Melbourne to participate. I got to meet new alumni I’ve not met before, including the lovely Patrick Cullen, whom I have prevailed upon to be the December Varuna blogger. He’s going to be fabulous of course. And fabulous right now on the blog is the oh so wonderful Cate Kennedy. Please go forth and read her first blog post immediately.