Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Retreat Review

I have found the perfect way to write.

Step 1: Get a whole bunch of writer friends.
Step 2: Get a house somewhere secluded.
Step 3: Insert friends into house with food, games, and computers.
Step 4: Profit. Word profit.

So, yes, the writing retreat with my critique group was a success. We rented a lovely cabin up in the Smoky Mountains and shoved fourteen of us in there. Everyone had a meal to cook (I haven't eaten so well in years), most of us brought board and card games, and we all had our writing utensil of choice ranging from notebook and pen to full gaming desktop with 25inch monitor.  Hey, you use what you got. All together, we wrote nearly 30,000 words, with additional progress on edits, converting a novel to a screenplay, squeezing two drafts together, and research.

Some folks mastered the art of procrastination with walks around the mountain, chilling in the outdoor hot tub, and playing 3-puck air hockey, pool, and Cards Against Humanity. Others wrote their butts off and topped their best one-day wordcount. My new count to beat: 5048. I could have kept going if 1) I wasn't so tired and 2) there was a game of CAH calling my name.

All-in-all, it was a fantastic, productive weekend that brought us all closer together, and we will be doing again. I can't wait.

Camp Wordcount: 24,166/30,000

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Camping Time!

On my March 4th update, I said I'd decided on the necromantic weed titled Queen of Bones as my next novel project. A little after my Terry Pratchett post, I finished my outline. An actual, honest to God 100% complete novel outline, a story ready and raring to go from start to finish. I'm still in shock about it. I've always thought I was a pantser, but after the last few short stories and this, I think I can no longer deny the facts: I am a plotter. I got lucky pantsing. Once. I finished one pantsed novel. Everything else is a mess of words I'm going to spend half the year untangling.

In any event, I got roped into doing Camp NaNoWriMo thanks to a bunch of friends doing it. The NaNo team has made a bunch of positive changes since my last one. No more "add friends and hope for a cabin together," now you can invite a whole group and be with up to 11 friends in one cozy cabin. It's nice. I'm shacked up with a wonderful group of Absolute Writers that, on day 2, are already destroying their word counts, and we've got a fun little competition going with another AWer cabin. It involves s'mores, so that's all the motivation I need right there.

I've set my goal at 30,000 words for the month, 1k a day and approximately half the novel. Mid-April, I'll be going to a weekend writing retreat with my local critique group. I'm excited to see what kind of word count I end up after.

What about you, dear readers? Is Camp NaNoWriMo on your April schedule?