Saturday, February 16, 2008

Writing retreat

I'm away with eight good friends (including Randy McCharles, chair of this year's World Fantasy Convention, and Asimov's and Analog author Susan Forest) on a writing retreat in Banff, Alberta. I happened to be in Calgary this past Thursday, giving a keynote address to the annual professional-development conference for Calgary high-school teachers, and sticking around for this was irresistable, as I slide toward my deadline this coming Thursday for Wake, my 18th novel.

Banff is a wonderful ski-resort town in the Canadian Rockies. We're staying at the Hidden Ridge Resort, which is gorgeous. We've rented a two-bedroom-plus-loft condo (with balcony, fireplace, and two bathrooms) that looks like this. I'm paying extra to have one of the bedrooms to myself (the one just inside the patio door on the ground floor in the floor plan here), but we're all writing in the living room with laptops: six people around the dining-room table, one more on the floor, and two of us (me and Mike Gillett) on the couch, with our feet up on little coffee tables.

Everyone has been working hard. We were at it until 11:00 p.m. last night, and back at work by 7:30 a.m. this morning. Randy McCharles and a couple of others have taken a break to go outdoor hot-tubbing now, but the rest of us are still pounding away. The only sounds I've heard for the last few hours are the soft clicking of keys and mice.

I'm making great progress doing my final-top down edit of Wake. My goal is actually to cut, not add; the manuscript stood at 104,000 words when I arrived, and I want to tighten it to under 100,000 by Monday afternoon, when we leave. I'm also incorporating feedback from some very kind blind people who have been beta-testing the book for me, as one of the book's main characters has been blind since birth.

Anyway, it's been wonderfully productive so far -- and I should get back to it!

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


At February 16, 2008 1:21 PM , Anonymous Annie said...

Absolutely thrilled your next book deals with the visually impaired (the word blind spooks me). I've been living with a visual impairment (RP) for many years and I'm always touched when people like us are heard from. Looking forward to the finished piece.

At February 16, 2008 1:39 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

The girl in my novel really is blind -- totally and completely. There's a congenital problem with her retinas that cause them to misencode data, so garbling it that her primary visual cortext can't interpret it at all; she sees absolutely nothing ...

My paternal grandfather was blind, and I actually spent six days blind myself once because of an accident (I'll write more about that in a blog post at some point) ...


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