I did a fantastic thing this last week: I went to a writing retreat.
The "Retreat to the House on the Hill I" was at David Butler s house in Utah Valley, a fantastic space where myself, Dave, Steve Diamond, and E.J. Patten (and Robison Wells, who was able to join us towards the end of the retreat along with his delightful canine companion, Annie) were able to hunker down and write. And write. And eat a few things. And then write some more. And then eat dinner. And then more of the writing. And then play some board games, and sleep, and wake up, and repeat the whole process. Basically, the idea was to create a space where we could all get as much writing done as possible in a week's time, and let me be the first one to tell you, it totally worked. Here's my personal breakdown for the week:
Day 1 - I got there about halfway through the day, but still ended up writing 5100 words. That's a great day for me, any way you look at it.
Day 2 - I really hit my stride, and pumped out over 8000 words. Almost superhuman, until you look at the next day.
Day 3 - More than 8700 words.
Day 4 - More than 9200 words.
Day 5 - Things slowed down for me a bit here, being close to the weekend and me already feeling really great about what I'd produced that week, but I still hit almost 6000 words.
So, all told, I wrote more than 37,000 words in the past five days. That, for me, is a truly incredibly feat. To put it in perspective, my normal daily writing goal is between 2-3000 words, so I was producing 3-4 times the quantity of what I normally get out in a day. In fact, 37k is closer to what I produce in a month.
Not only that, but I was able to finally blow past the problematic midpoint in my current WIP (Dark Immolation, Book 2 of the Chaos Queen Series), and now only have about 1/4 of the manuscript left to write. That is a great feeling.
So, the retreat was certainly worth it. Not only for me, but for the other writers as well. Dave estimates we produced around 140,000 words between the five of us last week, which he compares to two full mass market paperback novels, written in five days. That isn't exactly true for me--the final draft of Duskfall is around 160k, and Dark Immolation is looking to be a bit larger than that. Such are the woes of writing epic fantasy, though. Sigh. What can I say? I'm long-winded.
Anyway, the retreat was a phenomenal success, and if Dave ever decides to hold another (which he says is a likely thing), I'll be the first in line to beg entrance.