Writers' retreat. Think a remote cabin deep in the woods; think a castle atop a windswept hill; think a lighthouse on a lonely wave-slashed rock.
Nah. Think a caravan out of season, several bottles of wine and more chocolate that you can shake a stick at. Yes, this was a writers' retreat mm style.
Just a few days ago I was lucky enough to spend a weekend with four other mm authors. Two are veterans, with healthy backlists: Clare London and Liam Livings; fellow newbie George Loveland, and yet to be published Jay Rookwood. It was great to get up close and personal with fellow scribblers, because at its heart writing is a solitary pursuit.
Liam cracked his whip, figuratively speaking. Whether he does that outside of writers' retreats, I'm not speculating nor am I asking. Chunks of time in the mornings and afternoons devoted to plotting and planning, getting that first draft down, or doing the pesky edits. Yes, we all worked damned hard. Later, fueled by wine, questions were asked and answered, plots unpicked, new plot points found, others discarded. Should my MC do that, or should they do this? What about a burning building, a car chase? And what about the sex? Too much, not enough? Sweet, or kinky? Or just plain weird? Opinions were voiced, views shared. We were a veritable writers' circle.
But it wasn't all work and no play. I mean, it never would be, would it?
Trips to the seaside! Ice cream! Clacton Pier! The amusement arcade! Chips! Yes, I have the photos to prove it!
We all worked our socks off. Words counts ranged from 7,200 (me, the sluggard of the group) to around 25,000 from Liam (super fast, I'm not jealous - much). And it was Fun, with a capital F. But it was more than that. The weekend I spent in a caravan, out of season on the Essex coast, was also a reminder that despite all the drama and controversy that besets the genre, I feel very, very privileged to be a part of it.
A E Ryecart
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