This is how I spent my Saturday afternoon --
I love taking one-day workshops on writing techniques and The Writer's Junction plays host to some great ones, including Storygeeks' How's Your Premise?: The 7-Step Premise Development Process Workshop.
An afternoon well spent! The class was geared more for screenwriters and novelists who are telling stories with a clear beginning, middle, and end, but I still found the information very helpful as I put together my next wave of original pilot pitches.
The biggest piece I learned from Storygeeks founder Jeff Lyons was about determining if you actually have a story or just a situation.
"Teresa needs to find her way to the moon in order to confront the rocket scientist who could hold the key to proving her father's innocence" - now that's a story! It combines character motivation, plot complications, emotions, and human choice. You want to see it, right? Right?
While furiously taking notes in the class, I realized that some of the pilot ideas I've tried to develop in the past were just situations - they had no story! Like that awful idea about the orphans assassin agency that I beat to death before realizing it didn't work. I could have applied Jeff's 7-step premise process and saved myself a whole lot of time. Sigh...
If you're a writer who needs a little kick in the structure butt, I highly recommend this class. Click here for details on the next one Jeff is teaching at the Writer's Store in Burbank on April 21!