Let's Go Write is pleased to announce our 2014 retreat/workshop in Pezenas, France. Read on for all the details!
We’ll stay seven nights, six full days, at a beautiful house in the town of Pézenas. Photos of the house are here. And here’s a site that nicely describes the town of Pézenas, in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, near the flourishing city of Montpellier.
Every morning we’ll meet from 9:30 to 12:30 for the “class” portion of the experience. We’ll have a group cocktail hour around 6:00, so from 12:30 till then you can eat, sleep, write and explore as you wish. Time permitting, we may organize a couple of optional side trips to nearby points of interest. The region is rich with Roman and medieval ruins, Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals, charming towns, beaches and vineyards.
Our subject for the week will be character. Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, character is a crucial element of the piece. There are many ways to approach character exposition and development; we’‘ll look at as many as we can in a week.
Day One – Saturday, September 13: Arrive in Pézenas and settle in. Note that Saturday is market day so parking may be challenging. If you’d like to experience the full glory of the market, you may want to secure a room in a nearby hotel for Friday night.
We’ll have dinner together at a local restaurant and get acquainted. Drink some wine of the region, talk about life.
Day Two – Sunday, September 14: Meet your character: name, age, living situation; her ordinary world and how she interacts with it; what makes her tick; her living situation and backstory.
Day Three – Monday, September 15: Point of view – an endlessly fascinating topic. How does a character present herself, how is she perceived by other characters, how does an impersonal narrator present her?
Day Four – Tuesday, September 16: “Character is revealed through action” is a truism found in every writer’s handbook. Today we’ll work on revealing character through action. What drives the character? What does the character drive?
Day Five – Wednesday, September 17: And then there’s dialog. Your characters will spend a certain amount of time talking. How can you use dialog to reveal character?
Day Six - Thursday, September 18: Explore the dark side of your protagonist. Everyone has one - let's find hers. We'll also consider the antagonist. What people or forces thwart your character? Another character? Circumstances? Or a conflict within the character herself? How does your character respond to the forces arrayed against her?
Day Seven – Friday, September 19: Put it all together – your character lives!
Day Eight – Saturday, September 20: Time to leave. BUT WAIT – what if you’d like to stay longer? Let us know immediately and we’ll arrange a second week. Program, if any, TBA.
Other details: The price is $1800; we require a $250 deposit on registration. The program is limited to eight participants; the first six to enroll will get to stay in the mansion pictured above. If your spouse or partner wants to come along, there will be a small additional charge. The price of the program covers lodging, tuition, and breakfast. Lunch and dinner are flexible. We anticipate a mix of meals at home and in restaurants.
TESTIMONIALS Our students loved our sojourn in Céret, France, in September 2013. The writing was good too.
Renee Soasey says: “Debbie and Charlotte have a way of nudging and nurturing writers to new horizons, and they create an atmosphere of camaraderie into the bargain. I felt each of us at the workshop in Céret made real progress in our writing goals – and we had so much fun doing it! The town of Céret and our wonderful accommodations made a charming backdrop to indulge in not only writing, but fabulous wine and food topped off with laughter and friendly conversation. I can't wait to do it again!”
Jenni Gainsborough says: “Céret was the perfect place for a writing retreat – so different from home, fascinating in its culture and history, it sparked creativity. Yet the beauty of its setting and its tranquil pace of life made it easy to focus on writing. And when I needed a break there was so much to see and enjoy and be reinspired by.
“The camaraderie of the group added so much – listening to other people’s work was inspiring and their interest in and insightful comments about my writing were so helpful and encouraging. And we had fun! Leisurely dinners with wine and conversation flowing freely were our reward for days of hard work.”
Contact Debbie or Charlotte if you would like to join us!