July 21-23, 2017
When the writing is authentic, readers know it in their bones.
The practice of Deep Characterization gives you a path to the heart of your story,
a connection point between your center and the center of your character.
Authors Katherine Grace Bond and Janet Lee Carey and actor Andrew Bond invite you to approach your characters, plot and setting from the inside.
Enter your story through the practice of Deep Characterization
A professional massage therapist will provide a relaxing massage (included in retreat cost,)
Katherine and Janet will offer one-on-one manuscript consultation.
SCHEDULE (subject to adjustments)
5:00 Check in
7:00 Craft Session: Climbing Inside Your Character (Katherine Grace Bond, Janet Lee Carey)
How do authors create memorable characters that feel authentically human, alive and real to the reader? It starts with willingness to step inside our character’s skin. In this session, you’ll learn ways to embody your characters through guided meditation and journaling. Gentle body movements used by actors will help you access character emotions as you prepare to write a scene. Your discoveries will enable you to express the kind of authentic emotions that create a strong reader connection.
9:00 Sharing of Work
9:15 Craft Session: What Your Character Carries (Janet Lee Carey)
A fully fleshed-out character enters the story with specific passions, loves, hates, fears and a strong personality shaped by past experiences. In this session, you will uncover key dramatic moments that made your character who they are. You will feel what it’s like to carry the weight of their past on your back, the painful memories that slow them down, the joyous ones that still energize them. By exploring early bonds and betrayals, you will know why they walk, talk, curse and dream the way they do. You will better understand the subconscious motivations that drive them to make all the decisions (good and bad) that affect your plot.
10:45 Free time: write/relax/make art/massages/consultations
12:45 Craft Session: The Actor’s Art for Writers—Distinctive Characters (Andrew Bond)
Discover what your body can teach you about your characters, and how their speech, stance, locomotion, gestures, facial expressions and mood are drawn from their backstory. You’ll develop a physical “profile” for three of your characters and then translate each to the page.
2:45 Free time: write/relax/make art/massages/consultations
7:00-9:30 Sharing of Work. Group Reflection
9:15 Craft Session: Crossing the Threshold (Katherine Grace Bond)
In this session you will find a secret location on the grounds and “translate” it into a story setting where your character will solve a mystery. Bring your character, a notebook, and your wits—or, preferably, your character’s wits.
1:00 Check Out
Janet brings seventeen years of publishing experience to the retreat. We’ll look at writing from the inside out, linking childhood experiences to present emotions and subconscious motivations. We’ll use active movement to embody scenes and meditation to enter deeper into our characters. Janet is an award-winning author of ten books for children and teens including In the Time of Dragon Moon.
Katherine Grace Bond
Katherine brings her actor training, as well as her many years of publishing and teaching. When working on a book, she lives deeply inside it, often having conversations with her characters. This year, she is excited to explore how our hidden story impacts our fiction, and how periods of intense concentration can not only fuel productivity, but create powerfully Deep Characterization.
Andrew brings us his experience of stage acting and historical reenactment with the Brotherhood of Oceanic Mercenaries (B.O.O.M) performing at Renaissance Faires and pirate festivals up and down the West Coast. Also a writer, Andrew looks forward to showing you how body position, movement, and voice affect the psychology of characterization, whether on the boards or on the page.
Rene Pinkham, LMP
Rene specializes in an eclectic fusion of disciplines, particularly blending Swedish and Esalen style with Acupressure and Connective Tissue techniques, and incorporating a lovely blend of spa treatments such as Thermal and Aromatherapy. With over ten years experience in therapeutic massage, Rene practices in a comfortable clinical setting in Everett WA, while also offering Mobile Massage to most areas between Seattle and Bellingham.
Saint Andrew’s House offers more than an idyllic setting. The warmth, care and hospitality of our hosts shines through in every interaction. Chef-prepared meals delight, and special plates are prepared for those with dietary restrictions.
Tour of Saint Andrew’s House
Look at this great tour! I don’t know the “Nomadic Fanatic,” but, WOW!
-Is this retreat for advanced writers?
The tools and techniques we offer are useful for writers at any level. Beginners through published.
-What makes this retreat unique?
You mean aside from sessions with published authors, an acting coach, one-on-one critiques and a massage in a beautiful setting? This retreat will approach characterization in a whole new way. You won’t find these kinds of workshops at writing conferences. As authors, teachers and actors, we are combining our experiences from years of building and shaping characters for page and stage. Katherine, Janet and Andrew will show you how to deepen and enliven your characters through acting techniques, meditation, movement, accessing dramatic character memories, and more.
-Do I have to be writing a novel?
No. The character exercises can be used for novels, short stories, non-fiction biographies. Memoir writers can also use them to better understand the people they are depicting and to create a more dramatic telling of past events.
-What if I don’t have a WIP?
You don’t have to have a work in progress, but you will need to come with an idea and one or more drafted scenes. We will be using our scenes in some of the sessions.
-Can I use what I learn at the retreat to create or deepen other characters?
You can use these techniques on any character at any time. Use them early as you pre-write, later in your first, second, third draft. Use them when you revise and polish for publication. Use them to deepen your hero, your villain, or your walk on characters.
-Will there be time to write?
We will offer hours of free time during the retreat for writing or other activities.
-Will I be getting any feedback?
We’ll offer group share times as well as the one-on-one critique with Katherine or Janet
-Do I have to share my work?
While many writers find it useful to share their work, we don’t ever do “forced sharing.” If you don’t feel emotionally ready to share, or the piece is at a place where sharing would be counterproductive for you, feel free to pass. We’ll do some sharing with feedback and some that is open mic. You may also find it helpful to have someone else read your work, so you can hear it in another voice.
-What if I have special diet restrictions?
Our chef at Saint Andrew’s House is happy to accommodate! We just need to know by July 12. There is a place to list this in your registration.
-When are the first 10 pages for one-on-one critique sessions due?
Please send your 10 pages by July 12. Instructions for how to send will be sent after you register. Pages received after July 12 may receive a reading, but priority will be given for those received by the deadline.
-What are the retreat room accommodations?
Saint Andrew’s House has two floors, with a combination of single and shared rooms. Please note in your registration if you have a preference for roommates, or if you need a first floor or single occupancy room, and we will do our best to accommodate. Those with accessibility issues have priority for first floor rooms. Single-occupancy bathrooms with showers are located near each room. More information on accommodations can be found on the Saint Andrew’s House website. Click “lodging.”
-What should I bring?
- Paper and pens
- Laptop, if desired
- A journal
- Clothing for outdoors and in
- Swimsuit and towel, if you’d like to swim
- Snacks to share
- Art supplies if you’d like to do art
- Musical instrument, if you’d like to make music