It’s Monday, and as this goes live, I’ll be on my way to the lovely Rosemerryn for another week at The Writing Retreat. I wouldn’t usually allow myself the luxury of two retreats in a year, but I was drawn in by the subject matter – all about novel writing, including novel structure. Signing up for the retreat has also given me focus in writing. I’ve been determined to go with something ‘decent’ to work with (it was 80,000, then 75,000 but after a trying couple of weeks for personal reasons, last week I settled on 70,000.). I am very proud to say that I achieved the 70,000 marker on Friday. It’s amazing what you can achieve by chipping away, and almost funny when I look back at my blogs from the beginning of the year when I marvel at having 10,000 words. I still ‘need’ to get to at least 100,000 words in my mind.

So, the 70,000 in entirety are ‘shit’ (thanks Hemingway), but that’s OK. It will not read well. Bits are rambling, bits leap around, and there’s the whole narrative voice to fix (flitting from first person to third person, from one POV to several is never going to satisfy a reader) before I get to the structure. I’ve spent months in the detail, and I have to say I’m feeling a bit apprehensive about the week ahead. I know I’ve thought about themes, narrative arc, voice (or voices!), characters and plot – but the thought of examining the chaos of my WIP is, quite frankly, terrifying.

One of the things that I can check out next week is how secure that Inner Critic is in the Fogou.  I am so pleased that he hasn’t hounded me during the first draft. Before too long it will be time to let him out. Another mildly terrifying thing!

Next week is all about standing back from the detail and thinking about the whole. A year ago that was all I had, at least in concept. Funny how things come around… and no doubt, around, and around, and around….