Although this is my second annual DIY Writer’s Retreat, I wish I’d seen Kristen Pope’s advice, particularly this: “If you need to look something up for your draft, make a note and look it up later.” She refers to the Internet; I’ve found the same is true of physical sources.
This past week I wrote a measly thousand words. Still, I’m pleased. I started the week with the Tall Ship Celebration in Bay City, MI and ended with a family reunion.
Hypothetical Troll: WTB?! You should protect your writing time!!11! Looser!
I’m realistic about scheduling necessary summer tasks. The garden must be tended! My longstanding dentist appointment will take half a day. I create blocks of time for guests, festivals, travel, etc.
As a result, I don’t write every day but set a weekly word count goal. I set 1,200 words was a good goal. However, I’ve discovered that if I want to complete a draft by August 15, that’s not enough. Live and learn.*
Also, after choosing between writing and reading time the week before last, I decided to walk through a book that relates to where I am in the novel. So my “textbook” is James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure and selections from my DIY writer’s manual.** Thus I’m working on the trouble spots (e.g. where’s the antagonist?) between writing sessions.
*The new deadline is September 22, the first day of autumn. True, my summer vacation ends a month earlier, but the change kills two birds with one stone. It will force me to keep my writing goals high even after I return to the Factory’s schedule.
**The subject of my next post.
Also, I DID read a couple of books at the beginning of the summer: Regency romances! As an exercise, I read the very antithesis of what I’m writing (SF). But I brought the good stuff: Georgette Heyer’s Cotlilian and The Grand Sophy. They had clever plots, funny dialogue, and sophisticated use of subplots to move the main plot forward.