Among topics covered during the retreat
Mastering plotting techniques – building the power grid that helps your story come to life and attract readers. How to use the classic journalistic '5 Ws' as a guide.
Assembling story structure – creating the classic elements of beginning, middle and end through the various stages from trigger to quest, surprise, critical choice, climax, reversal and resolution. Just like a feature story - but longer.
Finding the right pace – mixing allegro with adante, action with passivity, to give lifeblood to your story.
Developing character – a plot is memorable not so much because of the action but because of how the action changes the characters, so developing character through ‘layering’ to create a ‘character arc’ is key to strong story-telling. How? Like any good journalist - ask the right questions.
Developing dialogue and diction – the best way to impart information and move your plot forward. Used well, it also helps create original characters, memorable to readers. Learn how to apply journalistic techniques to perfect this key ingredient of great writing.
Editing and shaping – the art of ‘killing your babies,’ never easy, always necessary if you want to create the best manuscript you can.
Deadlines - the scourge of all writers, even more so for journalists. Learn how to set them and meet them.
General writing tips – ‘a pomegranate, not just a fruit’ - details matter, so be specific. Don’t tell, show.
Landscape and setting - how to set the mood for scenes and the characters in them.
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