Wednesday, May 19, 2010
CRW Writer's Retreat
I just spent the weekend at the Carolina Romance Writer's Retreat and thought you might want to know what that was like so here's the scoop.
First of all, I'd just like to say that I've never been to a writers' retreat before so I didn't really know what to expect.
The retreat took place in a huge, beautiful house on Lake Lure near Chimney Rock, NC. The setting was gorgeous, a still lake nestled in the mountains and a house with a wide expanse of windows from which to view the scenic vista.
The first night we played Pictionary with novel titles that really helped to get us all acquainted and have a few laughs. There was no end of food and drinks and I must confess, I slide off my diet. So sue me.
The next afternoon we gathered in groups with our descriptive pieces from our WIPs and magazine pictures. After reading each other's descriptive passages, the other members attempted to match a picture from a magazine with their impression of the scene or character. I was happy that they quickly made a close match to my gypsy character, Pennytook, from The Light of Valmora so I guess I described him fairly well.
We had a huge dinner of pot luck. Gawd, there are some mighty excellent cooks in my group.
After lunch, we spent the rest of the afternoon doing cold reads that we brought from the middle of our WIPs. You know those saggy middles might need a bit of tweaking and what better place than a retreat with other writers to get some feedback on that. This part of the program really unnerved me. I confess that I was terrified that my work would receive a lot of criticism. I waited until the very last to read the middle 5 pages of The Light of Valmora. I cannot tell you the great relief I experienced when my peers gave me some positive feedback on my work.
I also enjoyed the drive to and from the retreat with my passenger who regaled me with writing tales and stories along the way.
The information and sharing of ideas was such a help and so encouraging. But the part I liked the best, was the fun I had just being with other writers who understand what a struggle it is to put out good work and find a supportive publisher. Being with like spirits warmed my heart and encouraged me to keep pursuing my heart's delight--writing.
It was worth the four pounds I gained.