Outstanding Workshop

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I was listening to the best workshop today, and it was one interrupted by the fire drill at National! It was Sherry Thomas’s workshop on creating chemistry for your readers.

First, I have to say I love Sherry. She’s a member of Austin RWA (and has no idea who I am) but she went to the Merritt conference for years and years before she finally broke though with PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS. I’m just so proud of her.

Her delivery was clever and smart in this workshop, her word choices striking just the right chord with me. I don’t like things too complicated, maybe you noticed.

She said you need:

1) attraction
2) common ground
3) mutual respect
4) emotional connection

She used the movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith. The main characters started their marriage based on heat and attraction, but lost common ground as they kept secrets from each other. They found the common ground and mutual when they had their big fight, saw the capabilities of the other, how equal they were. The conversations thereafter brought them to respect, and then emotional connection had them committing to each other at the end, deciding to fight instead of going off on their own to disappear.

She said the emotional connection is about making choices, about picking what’s true instead of what’s easy. She mentioned in Titanic, the characters had chance after chance to walk away, but they kept choosing to return to one another, and that’s commitment.

The other thing that struck me was when she said chemistry feeds conflict. So how do you build conflict? You ask yourself what lies you tell yourself every day, then what person would see through those lies and strip them away? That’s your conflict, and that builds chemistry.

I actually listened to it a time and a half on the way home. I’d tell you to buy it, but it was cut short. I was super inspired by it.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. MaryC
    Feb 27, 2010 @ 19:35:03

    I really need to get those workshops. Thanks for reminding me.I'm reading Sherry's Private Arrangements now. :)I hadn't read any historicals in awhile but I've been on a kick lately.


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