Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What Do You Expect at Writing Retreats?

by Donna K. Weaver

If you've ever considered attending a writing retreat, there are a few things you'll want to consider. One of the most important ones is making sure that what you think a writing retreat is matches what the people hosting the writing retreat think one is. There are probably as many ways to do a retreat as there are people doing them.

Classes, Critique Sessions, Keynote Speaker
I've seen where some retreats take a very different focus, almost a conference approach. That's not a bad thing. However, if you sign up to attend and find there are a bunch of classes that interrupt you while you're writing, you might be a little miffed. So know what to expect.

Cranking out the Words
I've also attended a couple of writing retreats where the main focus was on writing. There might have been a few mini classes to help inspire everyone, but the goal was to crank out the words. They would have writing sprints and award prizes to the person who wrote the most new words.

iWN Retreat
I've attended three writing retreats so far, and I love them. The iWriteNetwork will be having its second retreat next month (September 11-14).

Our classes are optional, so if you're in a "crank out the words" frame of mind, don't worry. The house has lots of community areas, so you can be where it's quiet and keep working.

The class list:
  • Basic Editing by Tristi Pinkston
  • Betas vs. critique group (and how to give and take critiques) by iWN Directors
  • Brainstorming Session
  • Character Arcs by Cindy M. Hogan
  • Emotion by Donna K. Weaver
  • Plot Holes by Canda Mortensen and Deanna Henderson
  • Sentence Style by Canda Mortensen

We'll even watch a movie and identify the "beats". Great way to see Blake Snyder's techniques from Save the Cat in action.

Way cool digs too.

Ever been to a retreat? What was your favorite part?


Laura D. Bastian said...

My favorite parts of retreats are being able to get away from the distractions of kids and be a writer for the weekend, not a mommy at all. Everyone else there can take care of themselves, so I can be an individual. I love the write as many words as I can aspect, but also the connections made with other authors who can help and encourage each other.

Karen Hoover said...

Yeah. What Laura said. Getting away. No responsibility. Total focus on writing and my writing peeps. It fills my creative well like a waterfall filling a bucket.