Wednesday, October 8, 2014

All It Takes Is?

I started to write this as, "All it takes is a little time and space to write." Which is true in that time to write and making space to write are important.

I started this women's writing retreat with the belief or the hope that what I needed was these two things with the novel and I could get it to the next level. I've been moving slower than I would have liked and part of the reason, I thought, was not enough time. I meant not enough long blocks of time.

I was at the combing point of my novel. I needed to go through each scene, each page, each chapter and make notes about characters and settings and plot and much more. It was hard for me to do this adequately in the short pieces of time I made for writing. And I did make time - it just didn't feel like enough.

I felt that what I needed was a big chunk of time so I could immerse myself in the novel and comb through it all within a period of time in which I could also hold it all in my head. Then, I would be able to move on, to take it to the next level of revision and move it toward publication.

And in these first two and a half days that is exactly what I have done.

I have read the entire novel from word one to word final. I have made notes about:
- characters
- plot points
- settings
- time (meaning date; and the actual time or timing in a few places)
- things I labeled FIX (meaning I need to fix it)
- things I labeled SNORE (feels gentler than "boring" and keeps the work lighter and I'm not beating myself up about it)
- things I labeled PROBLEM (bigger conflicts of plot which couldn't be fixed with a few words)
- who is in each chapter or scene
- research I need to do (or redo in most cases)
- plot or story ideas I might incorporate or look into further
- things I labeled as FACT in terms of the story
...and a few more. But I'm sure you have the idea.

I didn't think I would get to this point by this time.

I am happy.

And I realized there was one more factor for me. The magic ingredients were time and space and commitment. I've had the commitment and found the time and space, and the writing camaraderie thanks to the facilitator, Lori Lake.

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