Fellow chicks and loyal followers, this is my last post before I go on a six month hiatus from the Prairie Chicks. While I’ve loved blogging with the Chicks, and will undoubtedly miss it, I have to get my priorities a little more focused.
Kicking off my newfound attempts at re-focusing and re-prioritizing, I started with participating in the Saskatchewan Romance Writers fall retreat at Ancient Spirals. This is my second year attending the retreat, and this year I was rather looking forward to this yearly event. The combination of beautiful location, intelligent conversation and delectable food makes this retreat truly a treat.
When I arrived early Saturday morning, the group was already mid-stream on a critique session. Attendees provided a short excerpt (5-10 pages) of their current WIP, centred on the first kiss. Seven scenes were read, critiqued and discussed within the larger group.
Not only did I have eight other writers giving me suggestions and helping me solve dilemmas, I also had the opportunity to hear how other people work through their own writing barriers. With writing being such a solitary activity, most decisions are made alone and without anyone to bounce ideas off of. The brainstorming was wonderful, the debate about what would work and what wouldn’t was truly a wonderful learning experience.
While all of us have one commonality – that we have romantic elements in our writing – we are truly a diverse bunch. Our group encompasses everything from young adult, paranormal, fantasy, mystery, traditional romance, to chick lit, making our excerpts all extremely unique.
The day ended with some of us discussing the pitches we have prepared for the Surrey International Writer’s Conference in October. Again, I had the opportunity to hear what eight intelligent writers had to say about my pitch, how to distil it down to its essential points to come up with the perfect logline. As Hayley said: who is the character, what does he/she wants, and how is he/she going to get it.
So, as I bid you all adieu, I would like everyone to know that these last nine months of blogging with the chicks have been fantastic. Writing the blog posts has been a great opportunity to improve my writing, and reading the comments has been something I’ve looked forward to, for their supportive, intelligent, and sometimes thought-provoking feedback.
It’s been a blast, guys. I’ll be back to visit and comment. Take care, peace—out.