I just came back from Minnesota and a new kind of writer's conference. It's called a Storycrafter's retreat hosted by a wonderful author by the name of Susan May Warren.
I got there a bit early and found Susan already hard at work preparing for our arrival. Susan greeted my like an old friend. I certainly felt welcomed.
I had met Susan at a writers conference in the Quad cities in Iowa earlier in March. I found her both giving and pleasant as well as knowledgeable. Yea, hello, bestselling author Susan May Warren. She might know a thing or two. Anyway...
At this retreat, Susan had us answering so many questions about our characters and storyworld that you could not help but walk away with a novel to write. She prodded us to go further into our protagonist's psyche as well as our villain's. She drew out things like, "What is your hero's greatest fear?" and "What is the worst possible thing you can do to your heroine at this time?"
Powerful questions which led to incredible answers.
Susan reminded us that we could write our novels if we knew how to ask the right questions. I listened to my twelve companions read their first chapters at the end of the conference and felt completely blown away at the caliber of writing in that small room. The depth that these women learned to plunge was both fascinating and humbling. I certainly was among some amazing writers and I felt a bit intimidated. I did not stay that way, however as the women also listened to my story and gave me constructive criticism and encouragement...we call it being under the light of grace. I felt my courage grow as I looked around the room and saw the smiles from these women and the words, "You can do it, ginger," coming from their gracious lips.
Well, needless to say, we twelve women walked away with the tools to start, continue and finish our novels. And all this is due to three incredible women: Susan May Warren, Jennifer Anderson and Lisa Jordan.
Thank you ladies for the gift of Storycrafting. My writing is forever changed.
For those of you wondering which writer's conference to attend this year. Consider Susan May Warren's Storycrafter's Retreat. There are two scheduled in 2010 so far: February in Florida and May in Washington state. Click the title link above for more details...You won't be disappointed!