A last-minute booking meant a full house on Saturday (I’m currently taking a max of 9), with really lovely people again. One of the things I’m loving about the retreats is meeting other writers, and I’ll set up pub meetings soon.

I had less focused goals this retreat and consequently my work was more scattered. The map and sketchy character list I had wasn’t enough so I needed to spend time writing in each character’s voice even if it wasn’t plot-connected. I need to doodle around ideas and get to know them (the equivalent of research for an essay, for which I am a complete ideas magpie), then plan a bit, then doodle some more and maybe start writing until suddenly everything crystallises and I know where it’s going. Then it’s time for more in-depth planning, and finally the actual draft. Eventually it started to make sense that the method that works best for essays for me (very messy at the start) would be the most natural for novel writing.


Flitting between projects is a slightly dangerous area for procrastinators, but it meant that I came up with the idea I’m going to use for NaNoWriMo and swapping between two projects every couple of hours stops either becoming a chore.


It was great to do some solid writing and to hear how much other people had achieved, and I’m raring to go on the next one.