Last week I wrote about going to a writers’ retreat. (Retreat from Harsh Reality.) Well, I’m back, energized, and ready to write. Christie Craig is a wonderful speaker.
First of all, she has roots in Alabama and lives in Texas, which means she has a way of talking and an accent that I could listen to for hours. In addition to her voice, she’s funny, informative, and inspiring.
Friday evening she entertained us with humorous stories, many of them personal. It’s easy to see why her books are known for their humor. Saturday she talked about Building Characters, how a character’s weaknesses are as important in a story as his or her strengths. That talk was followed by Point-of-View (POV). In that talk she gave some great examples of how using a character’s thoughts about what she (or he) sees not only to describe a room/person/situation, but also to relay information about the character to the reader.
[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”auto” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Consider how a 320 pound football player would think about a tiny tea cup. Now think how a 98 pound elderly woman might think about it. How a young woman whose grandmother collected tea cups might view that cup. How a five-year-old girl might view the cup. In each case, if the cup is described from the character’s pov, the reader will gain information about the character as well as something about the cup. It’s a great way to “show” character.[/dropshadowbox]
Besides Christie’s three talks, this year’s retreat was structured so we had the option of three “Write Ins.” (Blocks of time when we had a room where we could set up our laptops or get out our pen and paper and just write.) Two brain storming sessions were also planned poolside, but those didn’t turn out as well because other guests at Bay Pointe Inn were using the pool. Nevertheless, those who were there managed to do a lot of talking.
I really liked the “Write Ins.” The room was spacious, had a fireplace with a gas log fire burning, lots of plug-in terminals, and enough room so we weren’t on top of each other. Even with over fifteen people in the room working, it was quiet. I actually managed to put together a possible plot outline for my next book. Sure, it needs a lot of work, but it’s a start.
During the retreat, we also had social time when we could simply talk. Some serious eating and drinking went along with this. We applauded each other’s accomplishments; shared information about publishers, markets, and computer programs; complained about interruptions we all seemed to share; and laughed…a lot.
I’m out of the dumps. Now I just have to write…and write…and write.