Robert Mckee is considered the guru of Story and every novelist should have a copy of his book in their shelves. He was in Melbourne over the weekend to deliver his gruelling but inspirational three days of lectures. This is the second time I have attended his seminar, the first was back in 2003. (John Cleese has taken it 4 times) Now onto my 6th book I feel a little more confident about my storytelling ability. It is a complicated craft, and there is so much to learn. What was brilliant about each day was that while he was speaking, I was constantly measuring up what he was saying against my new novel, Little Paradise, sort of like a check list: yes – my protagonist is 3 dimensional, yes – all the other characters show different facets of her personality, yes – there is plenty of conflict, yes – there is an inciting incident and turning points which intensify. etc etc. At the same time I was jotting down the things that I needed to attend to. I have been commissioned to write a series of 4 novels and his words sparked off ideas for those as well. If he came back in another three years time, I’d certainly go through it all again. I would sit through 11 hours each day with hardly time for a toilet break all for the sake of being able to tell the classic story.