OUR PROCESS: TRIED AND TRUE:
Before you come, I ask you to have written upwards of 50,000 words. 500 words a day will get you there in less than 4 months. Never edit them while you’re writing, just write on.
Then patch together, in the way I showed you, the fragments you’ve been writing since the last retreat – see the “Discovering the Story” in the “What Happens in the Beginners’ Retreat” section.
Remember to find what I called them the Thing at Stake. What you get will seem something like a story, but more a shaggy dog story. You won’t like it because you’re comparing it to published stories.
By March 1, send the patched together pieces to your buddy. Your buddy is not your editor – never!- but a buddy to comment on whether you’ve got suspense in them, and what your shaggy dog story means to them.
By March 15, listen to and muse upon your buddy’s comments. Adapt the story if you wish. By late March (say by March 25) send your story, perhaps less shaggy, to me. I’ll comment on its strengths and weaknesses.
On the retreat I’ll talk about it with you individually, and show you a way to hone your story using the traditional three-act structure, so that you’ll see what to keep , what to eliminate, and your story will work in a way you’ve never dreamed of.
See the second comment in the longer video in the Introduction, where Anne says- “You’ll think what you’ve got to say is ordinary, but it becomes extraordinary”.
We creep up on the story that’s inside you, constantly careful not to frighten it away. At this stage, your creativity is like a wild, timid animal. Don’t worry- story by story, it’ll get stronger, more tamed, less timid.
Other writing methods may frighten your creativity away.
For more assistance, come to our regular writers’ meetings, by Skype if necessary. You’ll be supported all the way through by your buddies, and by me.
.Please be familiar with :
The Mystery of the Cleaning Lady: A Writer Looks at Neuroscience and Creativity, Sue Woolfe, UWA Press, 2007 (for sale from the publisher here) or in your local library.