Smokey Writers 2016 – Day 5

house4After the free day Wednesday, it was back to regular business on Thursday of the retreat. I had a bit of a slow start (as in staring at the laptop screen and trying to figure out how I was going to start the sequence of events.) However, I got on a pretty decent roll before lunch. I did in fact kill off a character, though not the one I’d originally planned on offing. The end result was 2,716 new words for the book.

Hastening my character’s demise required me to do some research that may attract the attention of the NSA. For future reference, I was last sighted near Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

After I’d done all I wanted to on the current book, I went back to edits on the ghost story. It’s harder to quantify progress on this, as I’m adding and cutting chunks of text. Also, these edits are not merely fixing typos. I’m changing the way the story sounds, adding some spark to the dialogues, rearranging scenes, and so on. These changes require a lot of thought. My guess is that, by the end of the day, I had fewer words in that book than I did at the beginning, but hopefully the story is better. Also, there will be sessions where I add a thousand words. I just don’t know yet.

After yet another awesome dinner (beef wellington!), a bunch of us assembled in the theatre room in the basement for a recording of Tee Morris’s and Philippa Ballantine’s podcast The Shared Desk. In addition to Tee and Pip, the participants were Foo Borregaard, Rosemary Tizledoun, Hugh O’Donnell, and me. We discussed the retreat so far and how it compared to our expectations. Look for that episode to hit an RSS feed near you sometime within the next two weeks.

After that, several of us re-gathered in the theatre room for a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity. If you are familiar with the game, then you know that it revealed us to have pretty disturbing senses of humor. After two games, Lauren Harris and Bryan Lincoln held the coveted title of Sickest Person at Smokey Writers 2016.

We just said goodbye to Hugh, who has a two-day drive back to Buffalo. Most of the rest of us are here until Sunday. It’s hard to believe that the retreat is starting to wind down. It’s not over yet, though – I’ve got a few thousand words to write today. I’d best get to it.

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