Friday, September 07, 2012

Goals for the weekend writing retreat

Late this afternoon my friend is picking me up, and we are driving south to a secret location, where we will meet other writers for a weekend writing retreat.

Hellz yeah, I'm excited!

Way back in February, we decided to do this thing and the day has finally arrived. I am listening to my laundry spin in the dryer and trying to come up with goals for the weekend.

I have three goals in mind. One is, obviously, write something new. Two is to start an outline for a novel length work and three is to finish the revision of the horror story I've been working on for the past few days.

Good goals are actionable and measurable and all that, so let's go deeper.

By Sunday at 10am, I would like to have written the first draft of a new flash fiction piece (1000 words or less). I would like to have finished my revision. And I would like to sketch out an outline for the first 10 chapters of a novel, with an idea of how it starts and how it will end.

My stretch goal will be to sketch out 20 chapters of a novel. And to write a total of 3500 *new* words between tonight and Sunday at 10am.

What are the challenges to meeting these goals?

Keeping myself focused. I need to be prepared to step away from the group and work on my own because when I become distracted I chat. That won't help anybody--in fact, it will actively hinder people. When I feel myself losing focus, I need to find a quiet place. Or put on headphones. Music helps.

I can also bring some prompt books and story dice/cards to flip through for ideas. And I could bring the scrapbook I've been putting together of interesting pictures and photos for story ideas.

What's left to do?

Pack, gather the prompt books I'll need, maybe bring a grammar book because I could use a refresher, and make sure all the electronics I need are charged.

Phew. I am a slow and solitary writer most of the time, so this is going to yank me right out of my comfort zone. But I think I could really benefit from a good jolt out of my comfort zone. I think my final goal needs to be: surrender to the schedule, forget conquering it.

6 comments:

Rebecca Birch said...

I'm jealous! Good luck and have fun.

Folly Blaine said...

Thanks, Rebecca! Congrats again on your wonderful story in Penumbra. :)

Eliza said...

Ooh, have fun! Also, what kinds of story dice/prompt cards do you use? I've heard tell of these elusive artifacts but have never seen/used them.

Do you have a plan for outlining, or are you just going to dive in?

Folly Blaine said...

I just bought some random story dice at Walgreens. The cards are from http://www.storyforgecards.com/ and they're great.

As for outlining I figured I'd just make some stuff up. (Sounds flip, but I'm not joking.) I took a one-day class with Mark Teppo last year and figured I'd try to use what I learned from that.

Erin Cole said...

That sounds so great. Best of luck, and I hope you come back with a full notebook.

Folly Blaine said...

Thank you, Erin! It turned out to be a very productive weekend.