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Our most popular creative writing course, this workshop is an intensive learning and doing experience. Come prepared with an open mind and lots of writing material. We don’t learn by seeing & listening. We learn by doing. Nothing awakens the writer inside as much as writing.
Pre-work : Send us a sample of your writing . Article / blog post / poem - anything will do. If you haven’t written anything, it would be great if you can give it a shot and share something with us. The goal is not to judge, but to understand the writer in you.
Day 0 (13th Feb)
Arrive. Walk. Chat. Mingle. Soak in the fire.
Those who reach in the morning can enjoy a walk through the forest, and spend time with other attendees. We get to know each other that evening. We may also talk about the very basis of writing: Why do we write? What motivates us? Who do we write for? A fireside can be great for such a conversation.
Aspects of good writing. Plot, Character, Point of view and much more.
We dig into the aspects of a good book, and spend time on Plot and Character in depth.
In Plot, we go over various frameworks of plot, and how they apply to some contemporary writings, such as Harry Potter. How a good plot leads to a strong narrative. In Character, we explore what characters are, their different types, how they are built, and so on.
Point of view is a big decision - will you write in first-person? third ? Multiple perspectives? This dictates how a story is understood. We will do writing exercises in pairs, to help the writer get into someone else’s shoes and write.
Description & Setting, Clean language, Editing, The project of writing.
We understand exactly what Description & setting is, and do visioning and focusing activities to make our descriptions and settings more vivid.
We will then discover some of the bad writing habits we pick up young, and the ways to unlearn them. We learn to omit needless words and write clean.
Editing cannot be over-emphasized. Good writers do it over and over again. We understand why, and explore some tools which can help.
Next, we dig into the project of writing: how to plan and execute it. We discuss the book completion plan format and discuss ways to eliminate distractions, create focus and so on. We close by looking at tools - both offline and tech - specific to writing.
We review the book writing plans of those keen on sharing. We tweak the plans where required and understand the committed milestones and dates.
Writers block, Publishing options, Marketing your book.
We do some activities and discuss strategies based on research on creativity from the field of psychology. From figuring out how to “think outside the box” to ways of dealing with the famous writer’s block, we put science to good use. We build on the authors’ toolkit.
We spend of Day 3 doing a reality check. Publishing and marketing a book requires a very different set of skills from writing a book. We explore those. We understand the options for publishing available to a first-time author. For analyse the economics of traditional and self publishing, their pros and cons. We learn what a literary agent does, and whether or not you should seek to sign up with one.
Lastly, we discuss marketing a book. Does Social Media have a role? What are good (and bad) ways to get reviews.
We close with a case study of an idea and how it became a successful book.
Day 4, (17th Feb)
Any open items not discussed can be covered here. We close the retreat with all participants sharing feedback (not enough Nutella?).
We end by 10.30 AM so that people needing to board the Shatabdi can make it well on time.
When: 13-17 Feb, 2019
Who: The workshop is led by Chetan Mahajan & Vandita Dubey . (For instructor profiles, click here or scroll down.)
Where: The Himalayan Writing Retreat, Satkhol Village. Uttarakhand - 263138 (India). Details here.
How much : INR 24,900 ( 3 days, 4 nights of learning, twin-sharing stay, food and taxes). No hidden costs.
Only ten participants accepted on a first-come first-serve basis. To sign up, please click the blue button below and fill out the form. You can also make the 50% advance to secure your spot. The balance is to be paid two weeks before the event.
Participants saying nice things
About the Instructors
Chetan Mahajan is the founder and co-host of the Himalayan Writing Retreat. A Penguin-published author, he quit the corporate world and moved to a village in the Himalayas to be a full-time author and blogger over three years ago. The Himalayan Writing Retreat is all about helping people with their writing. Chetan blogs about living in the mountains here. His blog won the Indiblogger award for humour. He is also a writing coach with the london based the writing coach. Chetan also coaches the fellows from the Ashoka Fellowship and from the AIF Clinton Fellowship.
Dr. Vandita Dubey, is a US licensed Clinical Psychologist, and the author of the book “ Parenting in the age of Sexposure”. She co-hosts the Himalayan Writing Retreat. She also hosts the "Writing For Self-growth" Workshop, You can learn more about her and read her blog here. Vandita also coaches the fellows from the AIF Clinton Fellowship.
© himalayanwritingretreat 2018