About twenty years ago, perhaps even longer, but certainly when I was a mere whipper-snapper and unpublished to boot, I watched a television documentary about a great American screenwriting guru who had come to London to dispense his wisdom to the great and good of the British film industry. For years later, the top British film writers, producers and directors were all going about checking their film scripts for 'writing on the nose' or carefully 'putting a subtext under every text' and 'seeking the end of the line'.
That guru was Robert McKee, who even managed to make it into a film as himself (Adaptation), and this November he's back in London.
So for the first time in my life, I will finally get to sit through Bob McKee's gruelling but apparently awe-inspiring four day seminar on the art and secrets of screenwriting.
Yes, I know I'm a poet and a novelist, but almost everything I know about the structure of the novel has been learnt through studying films and reading books on film structure. The skills required for the screen are perfectly transferable to novel-writing.
Besides which, I still harbour dreams of writing for the screen one day.
And the day before the McKee seminar starts, I'll be having lunch with my lovely new editors at Random House Children's Books and discussing how the rest of my Witchstruck! series is shaping up. Which is just a fantastic day to look forward to.
Another busy week in the life ...
Meanwhile, why not entertain yourself with some of Robert McKee's Commandments for writers?