Ramblings · Writer's Toolkit · Writing Exercises

Writing Retreat

I have done a writing retreat last week, well it was basically me at home with my computer, my notebook full of notes and my cat. No one to ask for the cookies, for dinner, for whatever. I decided to share my thoughts about writing retreats just in case you decide to do one:

  1. Go well prepared
    • If you are doing a retreat to start your first draft be sure you have an outline of your story, character sketches ready and all main research done. This will make everything go smoother and more productive.
  2. Leave notes when you stop
    • I always try to stop at the end of a scene and open the next scene, leaving bullet notes about what I want to write next. When I sit again in front of the computer I just read my notes and start working.
  3. Always have a pen and paper at hand
    • I’m writing a scene and I decide to add something to a character, I just put a note on the character sketch of the thing I added. Or maybe I have an idea that would be good to another scene but it’s way to the end of the chapter, I just make a note on my notebook so I remember later.
  4. Don’t write for more than one hour without stopping
    • Maybe you can do it, I found out I can’t. After an hour my writing starts to get sloppy because I want to push it forward and start running. Write, then go have a coffee or pet your cat (in my case), or clean something and then go back to writing in your normal pace.
  5. Don’t try too hard or too much
    • My first day was great, I managed to write 4 scenes, the following days the number of scenes started decreasing. I think it’s normal, like in a marathon you are all full of energy and then you have to pace yourself or you are going to die (I would probably die in a marathon…).
  6. Congratulations
    • I managed to finish Part I and start Part II ( we are talking about a total of six parts that compose my story) and although I wanted to be able to have done more the truth is I wrote and I gave my best. So congratulate yourself. Those are your words and it’s just the beginning.

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