Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Writing Retreat

Two weeks ago, one of my writing buddies and I decided that we needed to focus on our writing. We need some days of uninterrupted writing time. We were able to use an old farm home, one with no internet and no TV. For three days, all we did was write and talk. Yes, the talking was important, and we were able to connect better, and talk about our lives and frustrations, but the best part was the writing.

Over those three days, I got almost thirty hours of writing done. A lot can be accomplished in thirty hours.

For example:

I finished the cut draft of the last six chapters of Commissioned. And I typed it all up. (Ended up being a little over 28,000 words total edited. And I cut 10% of the entire novel, which is awesome!)

I finished fixing the major plot point errors for two thirds of Hooked. Basically I fixed everything so that now I can go back and do the fine point revision. Beautifying, not fixing. (60,000 words) That’s going to be my goal for July, to get that puppy sparkling so I can send it out to Betas in August.

I finally outlined the final book in the series, which means I now have an ending! It took a lot of struggling, mostly because I felt like after so many epic battles that I’ve already written, this one’s got to exceed all of them. I think I figured out a way to do that. Now for the second draft. Yes, that’s right, I do multiple drafts of outlines before writing. That’s how I can write a 90,000 word novel in 14 days. It’s planning down to an art.

I also started working on character bios for another book I hope to write in November. It’s a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk, and I’ve been excited to actually start planning it. It’s very different from anything I’ve written before, but that’s the point of NaNoWriMo. I always push myself to try something I’ve never done before.

I wrote four weeks’ worth of blog posts. That’s right, I’ve got a schedule, and I’m keeping to it! No need to worry about it until July. (Ironically, I wrote this post there)

Let’s see… I also wrote the first chapter for that collaborative work I told you about last week. Once that was ready, I sent it out to the group to see what they thought.

And in my free time, I read a book.

Sometimes I need to just let the creative side flow. And having a friend to do it with me doesn’t hurt either. The amazing thing, was that five or six hours could pass by without me even realizing it.  When our brains needed a break, we’d stop and talk, but then we’d get right back to it.

So yes, definitely a productive retreat. I can’t wait to do it again.