Monday, September 23, 2013

Top Five Things I Learned (or Reaffirmed) at the LA-SCBWI Writer's Retreat

Writers with Macs (there were at least four of us not pictured as well)
1. Writers are great people. So are editors and agents. We are all human and ultimately all strive toward the same goal, so sometimes it's nice to immerse yourself with others who have a like mind. It's quite inspiring. 

2. Revisions are never done. You can always use a new set of eyes as long as you are prepared not to be overwhelmed all at once. We had the same group of four and we met five times with different faculty members. But in between each session we had time to revise and regroup those first pages so that we could be ready for the next round. Great format because it allows you a breather and some stability, while getting a great overview of thoughts and valuable comments. 

3. Writing can overwhelm you. I may have started a pantser, but I'm all about lists. I came back organized with a list of pass throughs I intend to do on my current WIP. I know it's a tough climb (see last weeks post) but I feel prepared for it. 

4. If you give a writer wine, she WILL perform karaoke. 

5. Sometimes we forget that this is an art form. One session was lead by a PB editor (the awesome Allyn Johnston). Despite us having all MG and YA, it was INCREDIBLE. She was able to look/listen to our work and approached it as art. She went not just by rules and such, but by feel and rhythm. I absolutely loved that and it was a great reminder for me that it's okay that sometimes I write something because it sounds or feels "right" or natural to me. 

There was so much to take in and I'm sure far more lessons learned. But fresh from the retreat these are at the top of my list and I wanted to share with all of you. 

Please visit next monday when New Adult author, Stina Lindenblatt visits and gives us the real scoop on NA.


  1. LOL at #4. And in my case, you DON'T want that to happen!!!!!

  2. I especially love the reminder that writing is art.

  3. So so happy we were in the same group, Lisa! I loved our little group of four and really got so much out of the critiques. :) Still recovering from the retreat, but I hope to work on the pictures soon.:)


  4. Sounds like a blast and a half. Agree with revisions never being done. I think of all the movies that are rereleased as "director's cut." Art evolves rather than ends.

  5. These are great and I so agree! (Especially #4!)

  6. I'm so glad you got to go!!! I love the writers retreat!

  7. There is no way I would do Karaoke without cold hard cash. Otherwise a writer's retreat sounds heavenly.

  8. I want pictures AND video of you sining your heart out. Was it like Cameron Diaz in My Best Friend's Wedding? (Awesome scene, if you haven't seen it yet)