A 30-day, Part-Time DIY Writing Retreat

I’m beginning a new DIY writing retreat! Heading down a new path of revising my draft of Novel #2 – better known as The Romantics, a story of two half-sisters and the cottage they inherit in Italy, along with its resident ghost.

It was drafted last year during National Novel Writing Month, (NaNoWriMo) a month-long writing marathon in which you commit to write 50,000 words of a new book. Are you jumping into this national writing craze too? I rashly signed up and plan to revise last year’s book.

Did you know you can use NaNoWriMo as a rebel? You don’t have to make your goal 50k words. This time, I’m committing to two hours of revision every day, for 30 consecutive–my part-time DIY writing retreat.

If you’re venturing down the #NaNoWriMo path with me — maybe your first-time? — here are some ideas to keep yourself going. Take your courage in both (typing) hands, and tell yourself every day, “I’m now going to do my beautiful writing!” Also, make yourself a structure. Here’s mine.

Structuring a 30-Day Writing Sprint

You need some sort of promise to yourself — that’s the structure. It could be “I’ll write every day” or “I’ll think about my book every day.” My goal is to give myself a month of part-time StayWriCation (as I call my stay-at-home writing retreat) and revise my 353-page novel. NowI’m not counting words, but chapters — 48 chapters to revise.My DIY writing retreat goals and strategies:

  • Make a list of the big plot holes and thin scenes and revise those first.
  • Stick to a daily writing schedule: 2 hours a day.
  • Schedule your writing time first thing and don’t blow it by surfing social media until you finish your words or hours.
  • Outline the chapters, including thumbnail descriptions of action. Look for  to spot inconsistencies, etc. I didn’t start with this outline completed, so I’ll finish it today (Day 2).
  • Spot themes and enhance them throughout the book. This requires having an outline!

My Pitch for The Romantics

The Romantics is a story about two half-sisters and the cottage in Italy they inherit, with its ghost, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. A  tale of love and sisters like Sense and Sensibility, it’s also a story of friendship between women similar to The Enchanted April, also set on the Ligurian coast of Italy.

Do you have #writing tips on structuring a DIY writing retreat for yourself? Any suggestions on surviving and winning, or on giving yourself a DIY writing retreat? Leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!

 

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