I just returned from attending the 2nd Annual Women’s Writing Retreat in Malaga, Spain. The retreat was hosted at Bambu Resort, an incredibly beautiful locale. The retreat was lead by Victoria of Global Words Literary Consultancy. It was a great experience from beginning to end.
It’s interesting to learn the frameworks behind what we tend to do intuitively as writers. One of the biggest lessons I learned had to do with structure. I tend to just start writing, without a road map or an outline. Sometimes that works well because you can follow your characters down interesting paths. Sometimes you end up writing yourself into a corner, which is where I found myself recently. Victoria was extremely helpful in leading me out of that corner, and introducing me to mechanisms that will keep me from stalling in narrative corners in the future. Such as the breakdown of a three-act story. I’m sure this is something that most people learn in creative writing classes, but this particular framework is specific to romance novels, and it helps pace the building intimacy between the main characters in your story.
I’m currently using lots of what I learned during my week in Spain to finish my second manuscript for Bold Strokes Books. It’s a prequel to the first book, All Things Rise, due out May 2015. I look forward to sharing more details about the book with you soon.