|Thanks to Sommer Leigh for the awesome retreat artwork!|
Hello again! I’m back from the desert and the slot machines, and all the great fellow Bransforumers I met out in Las Vegas.
I wish all of you could have been there too! To give you a taste, here are some of the highlights:
- The Meet Ups: It was a blast to meet everyone in person after knowing online personalities for so long. Nathan joined us for a bit, and we all walked down to watch the Bellagio Fountains – a great time! We also exchanged delicious Swag Bags, which you can see on Nathan’s blog here. Yum, yum – we had writing sustenance from each of our hometowns. Who could ask for more
- Margo’s Dialogue Exercise: Change your dialogue to insults. (Yes, it’s as fun and crazy as it sounds). You don’t necessarily use the insult version, but it does a wonderful job of bringing forth whatever emotions are inherent in the scene. A very cool and challenging exercise that gave me a new perspective on what writers can do with dialogue if we truly push the envelope.
- Claudie’s Character Session: We had an awesome chat about character arcs and how you can get to know your characters better. Are you an author who starts out knowing your characters or do you know your setting or plot and then search for the best character to tell the story? And, speaking of characters, Laura asked about developing multi-dimensional characters in the comments trail a few weeks back, so I’ll be doing a more detailed post on this next week.
- My Editing Session: It was really interesting to learn about everyone’s individual editing processes and hear some of the common questions. Check out the packet of exercises and references I put together.
- Our Crit Session: I loved our Bransforumfest crit group! We had five folks – me, Brenda, Sheila, Tricia and Caitlin, and we’d each read a combination of each other’s pages. We swapped feedback and snacks while 90+ mile-an-hour winds swirled sand and debris outside our 25th floor window. It was wild! And incredibly helpful. Thanks again to my fellow critters! I loved reading everyone’s pages. Really talented people with very thoughtful feedback.
- Brenda’s Story Session: Sadly, I was on my return flight during this session, but I got a preview from Brenda during the character discussion. She used Larry Brooks' Four Act Story Structure to explain how writers can manage their story framework and plot.
- THANK YOU! A huge thanks goes out to Sommer and Tricia for organizing this and really pulling it off. You guys rock!