Monday, May 30, 2016

What the Novelist Can Learn from Other Artistic Disciplines

The arts inform us and each other.
A few years ago, I went to a writer's conference with my son. I thought we'd go to different sessions, as I was working on my novel and he was interested in screenwriting, but he was quite young at the time, and unwilling to attend the sessions he was interested in by himself. I ended up going to all the screenwriting sessions that conference. They were fantastic! No, I didn't end up writing a screenplay, but in addition to learning about what has become one of my favorite writing books, SAVE THE CAT by Blake Snyder, I finally understood how to show and not tell.

Since then, I've gone out of my way to attend sessions I initially don't think are relevant to my writing, classes on poetry, acting, song writing, and illustration. Some of those sessions have been the best I have gone to, and have done the most to improve my writing.

Which really shouldn't be surprising. All art is the expression of human creativity. Learning more about different art forms can't help but improve our own expression.

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