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A Space to Write SPAIN

An 8 day writing retreat with my friend Mary Jane Holmes

Creative Writing for Beginners.

This workshop is perfect for those who have always wanted to write and don’t know where to start and for those emerging writers who wish to expand their knowledge of craft and experiment with technique.

Each day we will explore different aspects of the craft of writing. In the mornings there will be an in-depth study of technique through close reading, discussion and in-class writing exercises. In the afternoons there will be dedicated writing tasks associated with the day’s theme, and the opportunity for peer-critiquing and individual tuition all in the beautiful surroundings of the Sierra Nevada mountains .

Day One

What’s a Story? We will look at the main elements needed to create a story and explore how to generate seed ideas and begin our own stories. We will also look at what makes a compelling opening and what keeps the reader reading.

Day two:

Who is telling the story?

Characterisation and point of view. We will look at how to create memorable characters and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different points of view.

Day Three:

Shape and Structure.

We will explore the ins and outs of plot, the concept of setup and payoff and how to tie in beginnings, middles and ends in a dramatically satisfying fashion.

Day Four:

Visualization and the Power of Prose.

Fiction operates through the senses. Here we will discuss how to create a world of weight and emotion. We will also look at the driving engine of writing: concision, compression and precision.

Day Five:

Dialogue, subtext and handling emotion in fiction.

Dialogue is never just about the talk but instead is a vehicle to bring us closer to the character and the central conflict. Sometimes what isn’t said is more important than what is. We will look at how to produce layered, engaging dialogue.

Day Six:

Handling Time.

The last day will be spent looking at how to show time passing, how to slow time down and speed it up.

We will fly into Madrid and take the train to Malaga and then a car to Casa Anna. If you'd like to see more of Spain, there will be the option to extend the trip either in front of or after the retreat.

Earlier Event: September 2
Whitewater Rafting Mexico
Later Event: December 1
Compassion for Cuba
Sophia P.
185d ago
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