One month on and I'm heading up to Hadfield again.
A class on crime writing awaits. I have two and a half hours to get a group of people to go through the stages of sketching out a crime novel/screenplay story arc. In the process they will hopefully get a deeper understanding of how stories work.
Posessing that understanding has the unexpected side-effect of enabling people to reverse engineer the elements of a movie plot, and thus have a fairly shrewd idea of where the story is going to end up, having only seen the first 20 minutes.
Such knowledge can be a blessing and a curse. A blessing when you make a prediction and it proves correct and you get that smug feeling. A curse if it happens to be your partner who does the prediction and thus ruins your movie experience.
I'm well used to my long-suffering wife saying: "Stop! Don't tell me who did it!" I really must learn to hold my tongue.
When, just occasionally, a movie serves up something completely unexpected, it gives a special buzz of pleasure.
I say 'movie' rather than 'novel' because movies tend to be more tightly plot constrained. In story terms they are more condensed than novels. Being condensed, it is harder for the people who crafted the story to hide the tell-tale construction lines that, when projected, show where the story is heading.