Friday 13 August 2010

Retreat and writing.

Today I have printed off my novel as it stands at the moment - just over 200 pages. This is so I can take it with me to the retreat next week. I will have my laptop with me but as I am often told it is better to work on a hard copy. The story is very nearly there so a lot of next week will be spent going through it, exploring what I have written and looking for better ways, rewriting where necessary.
I was reading about ways of writing the other day. They suggested there were two ways of writing: 1) where you overwrite to the extreme and when you edit you cut back big time. 2) you get the basic story down and then go back and bring it to life. That is me. That is what I do.This also means I love the rewriting process because of how much you invest into the narrative to make it sing.
That is what I am hoping to do in Scotland. I am going to finish a first draft and then polish it. I am just really hoping that when I get there the writing doesn't just freeze up and no words come. I know I am putting a lot of pressure on myself but am trying not to. If that makes sense. I am also very conscious that this retreat is the sort of chance I don't normally get so the pressure to make the most of it is also huge. I just hope that at the end I have something to really show for it.
I have never been in such a situation for such concentrated writing. It will be a totally different experience, one I am looking forward to sharing with my students. I will also be interested to see if the writing process changes there. I will let you know when I get back.

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