Retreat Report

I’m home. I haven’t completely processed, so I’m a little scattered.

The biggest take-away came within two hours of arrival during a one-on-one session with Susan May Warren. I’d sent a synopsis of what I saw as the Balphrahn trilogy to her a few days before and had already gotten some feedback. She helped me figure out how to plot the series and had a suggested marketing plan. For those of you who know the short stories, hold onto your hats. The book series will be quite different.

I also learned a method to write stronger characters. It skips the mundane details–your character’s favorite color/drink/band, etc. Instead, you dig into their past to figure out what makes them tick. Then you exploit it mercilessly until, at the end of the story, they can do something they couldn’t at the beginning. In theory, that will solve the Pit Of Despair moments in the middle of the book.

I did do a little writing and got feedback on that, too. I also reconnected with old friends, met some new ones, walked on the beach a lot more than in years past, and ate scallops for the first time.

Today, I’m trying to wrap my head around what feels like a lot of stuff. It’s not just processing what I’ve learned, it’s future planning. Balphrahn could take this year to write. I haven’t done any research yet about the best times of year to release, but the plan is to write everything, and then release all the books within three to six months. It’s a big goal, but I have about 60,000 words already written, so it’s realistic. But what about after that?

I have some options, but they’re new baby ideas. I don’t have to decide anything, really, before this summer. I think I can get all the books written by November 1, assuming summer doesn’t derail me. Again. There’s quite a bit of time to figure out what’s next while Balphrahn is in process.

Looks like 2017 is the year the rubber hits the road.

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