I was also privileged to sit in on several other workshops, have dinner with super-agent Natasha Kern, and talk with numerous multi-published authors, with 20, 30, and even 50 books to their credit. It was a great few days in St. Louis. Between the questions and answers below I'll post some pictures taken during the trip.
|Looking East from our conference meeting rooms|
Here are the questions I was handed, some of which I answered in the session, and my answers.
1. On the Emotion Plotting Slide, how do you decide numeric values on each action line, that are used for the graph. (Judy Christie)
Judy, the numbers assigned are subjective and objectively determined. Subjectively, they are based on my sense of how emotionally UP or DOWN the scene will come across to the reader/audience when I'm done editing it. In some scenes/lines the number is my INTENT. In others, it's what it is already. For instance when my protag's husband dies, it's a major DOWNER, when she is able to board the ship safely with her girls to go home, its a minor UPPER. Objectively, the "emotion" I hope my audience will feel is the degree to which they perceive my protag making progress toward the physical goal (positive numbers), or being set up from achieving the goal (negative numbers). I assign a number from -10 to +10 to each scene, and then accumulate a balance, like a checking account balance. It's the balance that is plotted, not the individual scene values.