From Here To There – Storycrafting and Coaching for Writers Retreat

Anyone who has visited My Book Therapy Voices knows that Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck make an extraordinary team. Now, let’s take that thought a step further. How about experiencing a writing retreat where Susan, Rachel and lots of friends from My Book Therapy gather together for a weekend of brainstorming, plotting and all the other good things in a writer’s life?

From Here to There –
Going from raw idea to a drawn-out plot

How do you take your ideas and turn them into a story?
How do you know if your idea will sell?
Where do you start?

This working storytellers retreat, set just outside of Minneapolis during the beautiful fall season is designed for a writer who has an idea…but needs help putting it together into a plot.

Come with your idea, leave with a game plan. We’ll teach you story structure, and then go step by step in the character creation and plotting process, explaining how to determine each step, and then show you how to apply it toyour story.

We’ll brainstorm your ideas with you, share essential secrets of storytelling, and finally, you’ll take home a filled-out workbook that will act as a map as you write your novel.

For beginners to advanced writers who just want a guide along the way, the From Here to There Storycrafter’s Retreat will jumpstart your novel further down the road to publication.

Storycrafting & Coaching Retreat for Writers
Friday, October 23, 2009 1:00 pm –
Sunday, October 25, 2009 11:00 am (Central Time)

Riverwood Inn & Conference Center
10990 95th St. NE
Otsego, MN 55362

For more information, visit here for more information.

Here’s a sample of the questions Suz will tackle:

When sending a query letter or proposal, how do you suggest to the editor that you have a series in mind beyond the book you are pitching?

You tell them this in a marketing paragraph about the series. Here’s the one I used for the DeepHaven Series – (when I pitched Happily Ever After)

Set in the fictional, picturesque tourist town of Deephaven, northern Minnesota, Happily Ever After of Privacy is also the first in a three part collection entitled, “The Deep Haven Series.” Each book tells the story of a woman, running from the storms of life and searching for a home, who discovers true love and the inner peace that only a deep relationship with God can bring. The series combines the threads of mystery, suspense and spiritual searching with heartwarming tales of love, and weaves them into satisfying romances set it in a town we’d all love to visit. Attached is a short summary of the series and the titles in the collection.


I just blurt my entire novel out in a rough draft, usually coming in way over word count. I have a difficult time choosing which scenes to keep and which to throw away. Everything seems relevant to me.


what scenes are the least powerful. Can you combine them with other scenes? Does a scene, at any point, slow the story down?

Then it should go.

And, as a general rule, take a hard look at all the “sequel” scenes (or ReAction scenes)

and ask:

do I need them? Are they too long? Can I put this into action? Most of all, when you’re reading along (just for pleasure), when you are able to put the book down and go do laundry…

that’s the scene to delete.


The five senses are essential to making a novel come alive. How do you know if you’ve used enough sensory description?

Go through each chapter and make sure you use each one at least once, and at least one per page (3-4 paragraphs) as well. You want to keep the reader anchored into the scene, and you do this by winding the senses through the scene without being obvious.

Intrigued? Come to the conference and ask questions of your own!!

If you want to understand novel writing,
From the Inside Out breaks down writing concepts into understandable bites. Susan and Rachel cover all topics necessary to help the writer create a rich, satisfying read. Filled with examples, techniques, examples and exercises, this book earns it’s place on the reference keep shelf.

The countdown to the retreat has begun! Visit these sites and keep the excitement alive!

Blog Tour Schedule

August 24 Visit Patricia at Readin N Writin
August 25 Visit Laura at Lighthouse-Acadmey
August 26 Visit Roxanne at The Writing Road
August 27 Visit Julie at The Surrendered Scribe
August 29 Visit Pattie at Fresh-Brewed Writer
August 30 Visit Lisa at Musings

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