This is day two of my 4 full day independent writing retreat at The Porches:

If you are looking for, can’t find, and are wondering what happened to “Day 1” of my Writer Novel Retreat, I could be quippy and tell you that yesterday was Groundhog Day and therefore–Day 1 will never be done! It’s still back there somewhere, repeating itself over and over.

Truly, though, yesterday I completed so much of my novel (nearly 10,000 words!)–and I was so completely engrossed in my stories and amazed at watching what my characters were doing just beneath my fingertips, that I completely forgot to blog about my personal journey here. It wasn’t until I crawled under the sheets and started playing Lovecraft Country so I could listen to Matt Ruff’s story until I drifted off that I remembered that I should have blogged.

Today’s experience has been nothing short of spectacular. I do wonder where some of my characters are leading me. They are decidedly not sticking to the loose outline I gave them and I imagine there will be a good bit of shifting scenes, editing, bloody deaths and mayhem doled out to them later. Still, it was another full day filled with doing my favorite thing and its been a very long time since I’ve had this much fun! The sun did make an appearance this morning and I (still in my pajamas) stepped out for about five minutes then did a Punxsutawney Phil and retreated to my burrow. I have about 2k words to go before I finish up tonight. It’s not a hard line finish since “word count” wasn’t my main goal on this adventure, but if I set my average novel limit at 80k words, then my Scrivener Manuscript Target says I need to complete 8204 words total tonight and the next two nights to reach the 80k goal by midnight on 5 February. I’ve learned now that this is entirely doable and unless major disaster hits, I’m pretty sure I’ll succeed.

This personal experiment, which includes getting away to where I have no responsibilities (except washing my own dishes) and where I have a room with peace and quiet with no distractions (there’s no T.V. in the rooms and limited Internet) has two more days to go. If this is successful, by whatever definition I choose to call “success” by Saturday, then I will definitely do this again next year and I will do a much better job preparing for it ahead of time. What and how I prepared this time wasn’t bad. I brought my own foodstuffs, wine and coffee and I’m good until Saturday morning. What I mean is that I’ll have my next novel outline with character development ready in more detail. I need the details because I often write from multiple POVs and I include a fair number of different characters in my stories sometimes. Really taking the time to develop them as much as possible in advance (sometimes they fight me and I’m are better off letting them win) is a bonus because I don’t have to keep going back to my character sheets to remember their hobbies, the things they love and hate, their strengths and weaknesses and so on.

Speaking of characters, I’ve noticed mine are waving frantically and calling out to me now, so I best get back to pummeling keys. I wish you all a lovely goodnight!