Sunday, July 26, 2015

Staycation Writing Retreat Week 1

Hey guys! Week one of my writing retreat has completed. 
It was a little harder to write this week since I was doing a lot of things that were away from my laptop. Most notably, I got to go to a berry farm and pick saskatoons in which my boyfriend and I made jam this week. I've never made jam before so it was a huge learning curve. My breakfasts are now ten times better than before though :)

Weekly Resource

While I was on my laptop this week, I did less writing and more planning. I've always prided myself as a "pantser" until this now. Turns out I might be more of a planner....or at minimum, a "plantser". 
I follower of the Go Teen Writer's blog and a member of the Facebook community. At the beginning of the week I read Jill Williamson's post titled, "How to Describe a Place". Being a person that finds it difficult to keep track of all the little details of people and places when I write, her suggestion to make checklists was revolutionary. 
Around the same, I was telling one of my best friends and writing buddies, Tori about my struggle to find direction in my writing. She suggested writing short scene descriptions before every scene. I loved this idea as well. Big picture outlines aren't really my thing—but this? This seemed manageable.
Both Tori's suggestion and Jill Williamson's suggestion lead me to a big time lightbulb moment. Why not combine both ideas? 
I spent a solid hour and a bit building a template on my computer and then spent a few days planning up to chapter four using my new template. I couldn't believe how help it was. My writing life became so much easier and my confidence level went up a bit. 
I decided to share the template here for anyone who thinks they could use it. Whether you need direction like me or are in need of a new planning document or even if you're unsure how to start your book and only want to use it for the first chapter, I would recommend it.
Click here to fill out the form and I'll have it email to you within the next twenty four hours. (I tried to make a link for you using google drive but it wouldn't work for some reason :p)
When you open it, save it as a template into your word processor and then you can easily access a new document any time. I hope you find it as useful as I have!

The blank template
My template filled out for the first scene of my book

 Weekly Writing Music

Since I was planning, I didn't end up listening to soundtracks like I normally do. Instead, I listened to an album by Snarky Puppy & Metropole Orkest called "Sylva". They don't write for movies but some of their songs (particularly the one I shared) sounds like trailer music. It's more jazzy than what I normally listen to but it was a really nice change. Listen to it below!

Weekly Progress

As I said above, I did more planning that actual writing. The planning also had me going back to deleting a whole chapter that I realized I didn't actually want.

Current Word Count: 2,790

Despite the low number, I now have a direction in my novel and can't wait to follow my scene planners this week. That number will be higher next Sunday. Guaranteed. 

How are your summer goals going? Have you been doing much reading and writing? 


  1. Awwwww. I'm so glad the suggestion helped so much. ^ ^ I love your worksheet idea. I think I'll use that for my next book. As soon you know I've been doing a lot of writing and editing lol. I hope you continue to have a good summer!

    1. Thanks ^ ^ You're suggestion has really been helping me. I hope you continue to have a great summer too :)