Write by the Lake: Days 3 and 4

Two productive, packed days at Write by the Lake. Although I haven’t spent any lakeside time doing any actual writing, I’ve at least been able to enjoy looking at the lake every day. Yesterday was another warm (bordering on hot), sunny day. Today has been partly sunny and cooler. This was the view from our meeting room in the Pyle Center.

Write by the Lake

Yesterday began with a discussion about how the information you choose to exclude from your narrative matters as much in shaping your story’s point of view and theme(s) as what you decide to include.

We also talked about the slippery issue of voice. I really struggle with that–trying to figure out if I have an effective one, trying to figure out how to define it–so I especially appreciated that part of the session. We analyzed a passage from Frank McCourt’s memoir, Angela’s Ashes, to underscore certain points about voice.

Today we finished up reading and critiquing the 2000-word submissions. Mine was the final one. I stayed up late last night to do some revisions, and I was glad I did. The pages were better for it, I think, but still very much feel like a draft. So particularly at this stage in the project (early days), the comments and questions were very helpful.

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow will be the last day of Write by the Lake.

But before I get to that, I have my first author event at the Mystery to Me bookstore in Madison: a Q&A with journalist Doug Moe. I’ll post about it–and maybe include some photos–tomorrow.