The writer’s retreat by author Mayuresh Didolkar was well received and appreciated by all the participants. Spread over two and half days in the tranquil surroundings of Ritambhara retreat, it was an opportunity for participants to immerse fully into the art and science of writing fiction.
Mayur covered all the fundamentals of fiction writing, generously sprinkling it with specific examples from his own experience as a writer and that of other great writers. A wide range of topics on writing fiction were deliberated upon – plot vs. character driven approach, what it takes to be a good writer, where ideas come from and how structure can liberate a writer. Finer nuances of using conflict, dialogue and opening image were explored. The practical aspects of research, grammar, language and the process of writing drafts and rewriting were brought alive through Mayur’s own journey and learnings along the way. There was also an opportunity to learn about screenwriting through a masterclass by actor Boman Irani, who spearheads an active learning community of screenwriters.
Days began early and ended late, filled with long, engaging and intense discussions with short breaks in which conversations on writing continued. The learning continued overnight through writing assignments and a post dinner session dissecting the dynamics of a movie scene. The participants deeply appreciated the generosity and sincerity with which Mayur shared his knowledge and experience. This retreat gave them the space and time in the company of other writers to pause, learn and reflect on the craft of writing. Not to forget the simple and sumptuous food, and the warm and generous people of the retreat!
Below are some comments about the retreat from the participants:
“Thank you for facilitating an absolute gem of a retreat with Mayur Ji. I learnt invaluable nuances about the craft of writing during the last two days and will always remember the retreat as a memorable and knowledgeable one.”
“This is the best creative writing workshop that I have participated in. Mayur's practical, steeped-in-real-life approach demonstrates what it takes to be a writer and how to write. I wish we could spend more time with Mayur.”
“The content was deep, the presentation was insightful and the interaction was engaging. A refreshing workshop which left us wanting for more.”
“I've returned with skills that, I'm sure, will take my writing to the next level. My biggest takeaway, among many others, was how to write with specificity in order to reach the universal”
“I went to this Writers Retreat expecting to find a solution to the problems I was having, but it ended up teaching me a whole bunch of new techniques that I had never considered before.”
“We did not feel any strain, whatsoever, in running the marathon in Mayur’s company. On the contrary, we savoured every moment and hung on to every word from him. Structure lay at the heart of the workshop. He illustrated this beautifully using the structure of screenplays.”
-Krishna Mohan Thamattoor
“It was 2.5 days filled with learnings, reflections and engaging conversations with Mayur and other participants. Refreshing, intense and engaging!”
“Mayur, true to his name, spread his multi-layered pearls of wisdom in a dance of knowledge and we, the participants, were left spellbound with the display! We wish to thank him and hope that our actions in the journey ahead would be a befitting gurudakshina to him."