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Writing Retreat Results

Mia Moore and myself spent the weekend in Oklahoma at a lakeside house working on our respective publishing efforts.
U cranked out 8000 words for Corporate Realist and also did some organizing on other book projects.
Ms Moore assembled 16000 words for her first book of her Flying Commando series. A lot of it was pre-existing content but she got up on the wave and carried on and on.
We are now planning a second book writing weekend on the Texas Gulf Coast for February. In the meantime I am working on marketing and sales preparation for Corporate Realist.

Writing Retreat itinerary

Thanks to a group of Russian hackers, the draft itinerary for the Writing Retreat has been uncovered and leaked on the Dark Web:

Friday
18:30 Carrollton Pick up Mia Moore
19:30 TBD Dinner en route
22:15 The House Arrive at house
22:30 The House Scrivener overview
23:30 The House Bed Time

Saturday
7:00 The Lake Run, cold showers, beatings
8:00 The House Breakfast
9:00 The House Objectives and Plan discussion
9:30 The House Writing Session 1
12:30 The House Lunch
13:00 The House Writing Session 2
17:00 The House Walk time
18:00 The House Dinner
19:00 The House Writing Session 3
22:00 The House End of Day Review
23:30 The House Bed Time

Sunday
7:00 The Woods Prayers, floggings
8:00 The House Breakfast
9:00 The House Writng Session 4
12:30 The House Lunch
13:00 The House Writing Session 5
16:30 The House End of Day Review
18:00 The House Departure
19:30 TBD Dinner
20:30 Carrollton Drop off Mia Moore

Writing Retreats in 2017

After trying without much success to complete the first Corporate Realist book in calendar 2017, I came to the conclusion that I need a different writing space where I can work uninterrupted and focus.
So, for 2017, I am planning writing retreats at our friends’ lake shore house in Lake Raymond Gary in Oklahoma.
Our friend Mia Moore, also a writer with the same challenges, will be joining me. We plan to spend an entire weekend jump-starting our writing in January. My target is another 10000 words for Corporate Realist, and the completion of storyboarding for another book project.

Little progress due to work work

Not much to report the last 2 weeks, due to work pressures. I did some tidying up and added more chapters and vignettes to be fleshed out. I use SimpleNote to capture small thoughts and ideas and then transfer them into Scrivener.

This works well, since I am a multi-directional thinker and I tend to have sudden bursts of inspiration while sitting somewhere. Those go into SimpleNote for later action.

Off and running – 22,000 draft words

As I was spending time at a rural retreat in OK this 4th July weekend, I used it to work out how much of a book I could draft up and crank out over that long weekend.

During that weekend I wrote 18000 words, which took me from 4000+ to 22600 words drafted. I did my best to suspend any in-flight judgement, which is one of my challenges when writing. In other words, other than typos, I did not edit myself as I was writing. This will probably lead to editing and polishing, but hopefully I will be able to identify which are the good bits that need further work, and which sections are not worth further work.

Right now, I look to have enough material, based on estimates so far, for at least 2 books. There is a bigger issue about how to package the material that I need to work on in parallel with the actual writing.

 

Corporate Realist – Introduction

In 2005, without having a real plan, I began jotting down ideas for phrases or acronyms, either recycled from other contexts or invented, that describe or summarize situations in corporations and corporate governance that many people will recognize. I set up the Corporate Realist website in 2007 to showcase some of that work.

Around 2009, I decided to expand beyond phrases and acronyms into something more expansive – a book drawing on my 38 years of experience in the world of Information Technology, in the UK, Europe and the United States.

I have been working slowly on this project for a long time, but now it is time to focus more seriously and deeply on it and bring it to fruition.

This website will be the shop window for the Corporate Realist series of  publications. It will showcase articles that I have written in the past about various aspects of corporate governance, and will contain excerpts from the upcoming Corporate Realist book series.

 

Decision time on writing software

My drafts for Corporate Realist chapters are in MS Word but I need a process and software for organizing books. There are two extreme types of book writers, Pantsers and Planners (you can guess the pathologies from the names). Although I can be Pantsy, I have realized that I need a certain amount of structure to avoid myself meandering and falling off the reservation. Structure also helps with setting targets, which I am bad at doing because of my copies of the proctrasination gene.

So I have been looking into and trying out software packages. I am not worried about having the software on all platforms. I intend to write mostly on my new White Cat laptop. I have SimpleNote for cloud-based idea and sketch capture.

I looked at YWriter. This has the advantage of being free. However, it is totally text-based and has an older feel to the UI. It also lacks the ability to easily  customize certain core items like characters.

I looked at Dramatica. This has a lot of functionality, but appears to be aimed more at people writing for future screenplays and other Hollywood-ish endeavors. It is also highly theoretical, and I realized after reading some overviews that I would need to study up for weeks to understand how best to use it. I do need to learn more about the process of assembling books, but since I am primarily operating in the non-fiction arena, the subtleties of plot and character development for fiction and fantasy are less important in the short term.

So, I am currently leaning towards using Scrivener. It has the advantage of being partly visually based, so I can lay some of the concepts of books out visually. It is not free, but it is reasonably priced at $40 and has a lot of templates available for free from the writing community for both non-fiction and fiction. (Non-fiction is my priority).