Review on Lisa Chaplin’s Triple Arc and Deep Point of View Master-Class
by Samuel Colbran
Being a volunteer at Writers Activation in Southport, I have the pleasure of meeting many different people. One of these was Lisa Chaplin. After a lengthy chat, she invited me to come to her upcoming Master-Class which was held on the following day. The Master-Class was held at REaD Cafe on Paradise Island in Surfers Paradise. The hosting and catering for this class was outstanding and this added to the overall ambience of the day. I, myself felt extremely fortunate as this Master-Class gave me the opportunity not only to observe a talented writer but also gain insight into my own future becoming a successful author.
A few things I found out about Lisa during the course of the day. Firstly, she has had over twenty books published, most of these have been under her pen name Melissa James. And her most recent book is called Tide Watchers, which is a Historical Fiction based around the Napoleonic Era. Another interesting tidbit, she is mentoring eight writers and two of which are best sellers. She is also a fully trained nurse. During the Master-Class I was shown that Lisa is very knowledgeable about the art of writing and how easily she conveyed this to the people attending her class.
Joining me in the class were four lovely ladies, each with an unique drive to complete their own work. The day itself was split into two sections, the Triple Arc and the Deep Point of View. In the first arc, Lisa explained why you should understand your market, pitching to an editor and how to explain your book in a nutshell. After this we moved onto the second arc, which opens up the ‘character arc’. This is when you ask about your main character and his/her journey through their story. Lisa then carried into the story arc, and again we were made aware of the main question that drives a story, even if we had never asked about it which shows how much she was aware of her audience. Lisa took the time to explain and allowed us to experiment on our concepts in each of these areas. Then it was on to the third arc and, as I do not want to spoil anything I can say it is directed more so to a panser or free-form writers however, these strategies that were explained could be used by any type or level of writer. With examples from multiple genres and media, Lisa helped us to hone in on an understanding how this could help in your own writing style.
Then we moved on to Deep Point of View (POV), this section gave many different insights. First was the authors role in the story and the effect of your own interaction with it. How to lessen that impact and allow your characters, plot and story to have a life of their own. Lisa, step by step explains what creates an immortal character, how there is more than one sense and not to be scared of using emotion in your works. Lisa also shows the different levels of the POV, and how you need to interpreted them in your book. Another point made was the choice of words and how that effects your book. The ‘show not tell’, was a mystery to me before this master-class. I had heard it before in other workshops, but did not realise it is an important fundamental skill for any budding author. Lisa showed me in a way that was not over the top and understandable and relatable.
All in all I found this master-class informative, insightful and uplifting. Lisa not only showed a deep understanding of her audience, but also how to relate to their writing styles and genre. Many of her examples were relevant, incorporating exercises to experiment and to expand your own creative style. As most of her writing career is in Romance, and there is an ongoing theme for this Master-Class. Never at any given point did I find her information irrelevant to my own style. Even with this Lisa makes room for people of many different genres. The use of aromatic oils and music was a grateful addition as it allowed immersion into her Master-Class. I highly recommended Lisa Chaplin’s Master-class, it’s great value for money and is suited to not only fledgling writers but experienced authors ranging from both ends of the spectrum of writing styles; free-form writers to ridged planners. Keep an eye out for upcoming events held by Lisa, as attending any workshop of hers is a must!