A Writing Retreat

Earlier this fall, I had the chance to attend a mini writing retreat with some members of one of my local writing groups. It was the first writing retreat I’ve done, and I loved it. An entire weekend of no chores, worrying about what’s for supper, or other distractions. Just days of writing-related activities.

I say writing-related, instead of simply writing, because we had varied goals. Some of us posted our goals for accountability. Whether it was a word count, a number of blog posts (I could take a lesson from that gal), or, as in my case, a timeline and outline, every person who attended met their goal.

Accountability to stay on task.

They laughed at my timeline. Well, it is pretty outrageous, as you can see below.

You can’t really tell from the photo, but this was a pretty long hallway. But the timeline had to cover a couple of decades, so…

But in this case, it’s necessary. This novel has three point-of-view characters. In addition, part of it is set in the 1930s and ‘40s, among historical events. This timeline will ensure I keep the characters not only ageing at the same rate as each other, but also appropriate to what’s happening in the historical setting. If Ruth is 5 during the Night of the Long Knives, she can’t be 10 when the Nuremburg Race Laws were set (the next year), now, can she?

Some of this is purposely blurred. You don’t want spoilers, do you?

I have a pretty good concept of what happened throughout the ’30s and ‘40s, but dates tend to get jumbled in my head, so a good timeline will keep me straight.

This novel is taking me a while to write. Partly because of the other jobs I have (editing & etc.), but more because it is so research intensive. I love that, though. Research might be my favorite part of writing.

Anyway, we stayed in this old farmhouse that has been turned into a B&B. It was large enough that each of us could find our own little private nooks in which to work away, but then as we needed breaks we could gather in the kitchen or elsewhere and visit.

This was my private corner.

Now that I’ve experienced one, I can’t wait for more writing retreats in my future.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. This way as a great review entreat for me as well. One from thins was that we had every Me from novice writers to veteran writers to editors/publishers like yourself. Loved, loved, lov3d it. That’s for the blog!

    Reply

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