Picture this: A secluded cabin on a spit of land jutting out into Puget Sound with nothing but wind swept seas and the Olympic Mountains to view. Two good friends who also happen to be writing friends. Tea. Cookies. Post-it notes. Sounds like heaven.
I just returned from a writing retreat near beautiful Port Townsend. Two days of brainstorming, plotting and collaging with my critique partner and friends. I wish it could have lasted longer! We ironed out some of the plot arc of my trilogy and drew a general map of book 3. I’m a bit plotting phobic. I want to know what happens in each scene before I start, but I find that when I nail myself down too much I lose interest and that imaginative spark. On the other hand, striding blindly forward gives me lots of scene starts that have no place in the final draft. I learn a lot about who my characters are on my unplotted journey, but I end up writing thrice as many words as I need before I find my way out of the quagmire. To plot or not to plot, that is the question. Hopefully the more generic map for book 3 will give me the structure I need without wiping out my enthusiasm. I know my characters really well since I’ve written about them in books 1 and 2. I’m really excited to get started….but first I have to finish Hearts of Shadow.
We plotted books and trilogy arcs for my two writing friends too. I LOVE plotting other people’s books. The brainstorming phase is the fun, easy part. Finishing the damn book is the hard part. I am so excited to read their books once they finish doing all the hard work!
The only thing holding me back at the moment is some intense wrist pain, which may be a repetitive stress injury from typing. Figures. Apparently typing on a laptop is the worst thing to do for one’s wrists. Picking up and lugging around a 26 pound weight all day doesn’t help the situation much either. (Though she’s a really cute weight.)
What inspires your creative muse? Do you need beautiful views? Solitude? Does the sun distract you from your work?