Turbo Monkey Tales is a group blog focusing on the craft, production, marketing and consumption of Children's Literature. We are illustrators, writers, animators and media mongrels. We are readers! We are published, unpublished and self-published; agented and searching, and 100% dedicated to our Kid Lit journey, no matter where we are on the path. Join our Tribe and grab a vine. The more the merrier!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Elements of a Successful Writing Retreat

By Kristen


Last month thirteen writers (including five Turbo Monkeys) got together in Virginia City, Nevada (where most of us met during the Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program) to reminisce and write. It turns out successful writing retreats and good novels have a lot in common...

SETTING

Photo credit: Ellen Jellison
A place with atmosphere, favorable weather conditions, and room for lots of writers.

A former hospital, built in 1875 by the Sisters of Charity, "St. Mary’s Art & Retreat Center is a place where creativity can be explored in an atmosphere of quiet beauty…Recharge, regroup and reconnect with yourself and others under expansive views, blue skies, clean air and the incredible light of the high desert at 6200 feet elevation."

VIEWPOINT

Photo credit: Hazel Mitchell
Example: A view of the town of Virginia City from the porch of St. Mary's Art & Retreat Center.

CHARACTERS

Photo credit: Dawn Callahan
Example: Cook, chauffeur, reluctant hero, girl next door, geek, jock, Southern belle, dark lady, monkey, etc.

PACING



Example:

Write
Eat
Write
Eat
Sleep

Repeat!

CONFLICT

Example: 
Workout?
Or shopping?

SUSPENSE

Example: Resident ghost?

DIALOGUE


Example: Cozy living room + 13 writers = awesome conversation.

GOALS



Example: Meet your wordcount and you get chocolate!

23 comments:

  1. Retreats rock! But only because the company is so awesome!! Thanks for the trip down memory lane! Looking forward to Santa Rosa in Feb!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) Thank you again for all the awesome work you did to make the retreat happen!

      Delete
  2. Love it! Maybe I should plan a Mentish Reunion/ Retreat in NC... by the beach?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, too! I have such dear friends in NC. I'll roadtrip with KCH.

      Delete
  3. Kristen,

    A great story structure out line and insightful retreat summation.
    Write, Eat, Write, Sleep! My favorite parts of the experience.
    Well, that and the FAF making process.

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  4. It was such a lovely time. I like that I am blessing everyone. Also .. did you notice the ghost behind us all on the stair photo? .......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm pretty sure that's just the shining light of my beauty reflecting off the back wall.

      Delete
  5. Next time I promise to be more evil, so that we have a proper antagonist/villain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I almost used the pic of Jackie attacking vegetables in the kitchen as an example of a proper villain. But unless you happened to be a cabbage she wasn't all that threatening :).

      Delete
  6. Looks like a marvelous, stimulating, creative time--topped off by chocolate...Wow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chocolate makes everything better, doesn't it?

      Delete
  7. Great post! Looks like an amazing time was had by all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes indeed! And it was such a treat to hear about what everyone was working on. So inspiring!

      Delete
  8. great post....do it, christopher! I could sooo make that one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we need a retreat with Stacie and Christopher!

      Delete
  9. Miss you all . . . it was magical. Thank you for sharing these pic's.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm going to be looking back at this post often, Kristen! Thanks for the memories!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am coming to the next reunion/retreat. The thought of so much fun going on without me is unbearable. xo

    ReplyDelete