Spent the weekend at French Creek State Park with the South Jersey Writers’ Group on a retreat. We had our first one in November, during the National Novel Writing Month Challenge, and it was awesome to not have internet (specifically, not to have Facebook sucking the life out of me) or any other distractions.
The idea for this retreat was to participate in NaNoEdMo, where participants spend 50 hours in the month of March editing one of their projects. I was on a roll through December, but in early January I lost my laptop. Along with it the notes on the major epiphany I had three days before the end of the month. (Last backup was November 26. Lesson learned.) Fortunately, half of my novel was written in composition notebooks, so I didn’t lose EVERYTHING. Although I didn’t have much hope for anything useful being able to be found; after I changed the story I had regulated my notebooks to merely backstory. But I brought the two notebooks along anyway, hoping that maybe I’d find or recall some of the inspiration.
I had just downloaded Scrivener, since NaNoWriMo winners got a 50% off coupon. It’s still in Beta stage, but I wanted to get started and I figured it was a good time to demo. I like it. A lot like yWriter, by Spacejock Software, which I also like, but a few more features (and you can color code, which is how I roll)
After paging through my notebooks to see where I had left off, I discovered that I had the new story summary handwritten in one of the notebooks!! Made my weekend! Uploaded and rearranged it, then spent a good two hours developing the backstory more later on that afternoon. Typed in a few more scenes from the notebooks and wrote one new one, for a really productive weekend overall. Yay.
I never get to work on my fiction, but now I finally have enough direction and setup in a story that I can’t wait to continue. I also wrote out a list of goals and plans for accomplishing the story. Going to try to alternate a blog post with transcribing a scene to writing a new one. We’ll see how long this takes me. But at a previous writers’ group meeting, I set an overall goal to pitch to an agent at the 2012 Philadelphia Writers’ Conference. Have a long way to go….
Thanks to Christine for the organizing and the coffee pot, Dawn for the meals, Emily for the inspiration, and Jerri for the chocolate! Hoping to plan another one of these for the summer time, at Atsion by the lake! Although I really hope to have a laptop again by then. The desktop worked fine but it was way too much work! 🙂