Friday, May 30, 2014

Summary of Writers Retreat

It's Friday. I've woken up with my head aching and a dry mouth. I'm trying to remind myself that a writing retreat is for pleasure. Yesterday, I spent at least eight solid hours at the computer. But this is what I have achieved in a few days. It would have taken weeks at home!

A working title - don't laugh, that's an achievement for me.
I've worked out the theme. I've decided what the story will be about? What is the point it will prove? 
I've developed a story problem from my theme. When your main character’s greatest desire is thwarted, the story problem arises. 
I've decided on the story’s characters and settings to enhance my theme and story problem. 
And constructed rough a plot.

I've written the first 15000 words of my zero draft. I'm not sure how I will spend my last day. I'm hoping to get a few words down on the page before breakfast. That way if other people want to go out I can go with them.

It just shows what you can do if you are able to focus on one project. 

Unfortunately, I've received an email from the educational publisher asking me to make changes to my resources to bring them in line with the changes to the National Curriculum. I have other work I need to get ready for the Winchester Writing Festival, plus other writing jobs on the books for the next couple of weeks. 

If you are interested in booking a weeks writing retreat in France, which includes meals, TWO trips and feedback from a lovely lady with a MA in Creative Writing from Chichester University here are some details:
Margaret Jennings
She is currently working on a webpage for her retreats.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The need to read on your writers retreat

Let Yourself Read.
Many writers think they're not writing if they're reading, but in fact, reading -- whether it's the morning paper, background research materials, or somebody else's novel -- is a great way to prime the creative pump. You can write about 5 hours a day -- I did about 4000 words a day on my retreat -- but eventually either your brain or your hands will give out, and then it's time to lie around and read. I usually bring the books  that have piled up at home, plus

some other page turner. I also bring novels that I admire, and that I might think I can learn from for whatever project I'm working on at the moment. No, I don't worry about other people's work infusing/confusing my own.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Self - Nurture Writing Retreat

I'm not sure if this is the first day of my writing retreat or second. We landed at Montpellier airport yesterday morning. On this years writing retreat I have been accompanied by husband and daughters. We settled into the villa. My girls tried on every outfit I bought them. My oldest daughter managed to get sunburnt despite the suntan lotion. We walked to the river. AND I managed to finish the YA book I'm reading and do my two thousand word target.

At the beginning of the year I decided to try the 'One Word' challenge. So instead of making a list of New Year Resolutions I decided to pick one word which sums up the changes I wanted to make in my life. My word was two actually, self nurture. I wanted to try and treat myself as well as I try to treat other people.

I was going to try and stop flogging myself. If someone treated me badly, they stole from me or were hurtful. I was not going to try to make the relationship work not matter what. I have lost people I thought were friends (however - are they friends? That is another blog.) My relationships with other people seem to have got stronger.

I have put short term writing goals on one side to focus on my university novel, and my picture book and and early reader.

This morning I feel blessed. I have been out for an early walk. The sky is blue. My beautiful daughters are sleeping. Someone else is making my breakfast. And I am doing what I love. Writing.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Nearly there!

Well the A to Z thing was certainly a challenge, but I enjoyed it and feel proud to have completed it! I've been asked to collect all my posts to put into a free e book. The only self publishing I've ever done is The Writers at Lovedean's yearly anthology. It's certainly something to think about.

I've been writing to deadlines for the last couple of months. On the 6th I need to hand in my last assignment to the university. I'm word blind from editing. I'm looking forward to using the summer months to recharge and write for pleasure!

Just a few more days...