This past weekend, a dear friend invited me to attend a screenwriting workshop at the library. I’m no stranger to screenwriting. Jericho Rising started as a script, and I helped write a few scenes here and there with Star Trek: Osiris. Everything I’d learned had been on my own or with friends, so to learn from a professional like Michael Hauge would be exciting.
We showed up Saturday morning and took our seats at a table just for us, after receiving a handout highlighting the key points of the day’s workshop. Looking around, we saw quite a few students from our local college (who later admitted that the only reason they were there was for extra credit – Michael joked about that for the rest of the day). The first thing we did before any introductions or anything was watch a couple of film clips (The King’s Speech and About a Boy, to be specific). Then, we got down to business.
For the first couple of hours, he spoke on his six-stage plot structure, easily adapted for film or prose. It was quite indepth. After a break, we learned about the hero’s outer journey. The “hero” is simply the protagonist. The “outer journey” is the visible goal the hero must achieve. After a brief break, we moved on to discuss the inner journey. The intangible stuff.
Wow. It was…wow.
There are two parts of us: Our identity (the “self” we show to the world), and our essence (our true selves, stripped of fear). The inner journey is leaving one’s identity to live fully in one’s essence. The character arc.
We stuck around for the second presentation. It was a shorter version of the earlier meeting, but this time, we watched selected moments from the movie Hitch and discovered exactly when each step in the process occurs. It’s really formulatic, but works very well. All in all, it was a really good day. I highly suggest ANY writer take part in this event if they have the opportunity.
That’s my quick run-down. I didn’t want to get too involved in what we learned. Go grab one of his books/DVDs/etc! You won’t be disappointed. We did each pick up a book: Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds. The tag line: “The Guaranteed Way To Get Your Screenplay Or Novel Read.” Oooh…! I’ve yet to dig into it. Vacation prep is keeping me busy!
If you read this, thanks for the talk, Michael!