Sometimes the best thing you can do for your writing is take a break and change the scenery. This past weekend was Memorial Day, here in the States. Three day holiday weekend for us working stiffs. The holiday is a remembrance of our troops who have died for our freedoms. Though unofficially, this holiday seems to signify the start of summer activities, boating, cookouts, etc.
We took a short trip with his parents to northern Michigan. There were a few hiccups, as most trips have, but all in all it was a welcome distraction from reality. I needed a little rest and relaxation. When we left our house on Friday I decided to leave my laptop home, even though I knew I had a good six hours or more in the car with nothing to do but converse and stare into the wild blue yonder. I did however take my notebook and worked on my Creating Memorable Characters course. We were probably in the middle of Michigan when the conversations seemed to hit a dead-end. My husband decided to lay back and take a nap and I was left with nothing to talk about. So I pulled out my notebook and three weeks worth of writing exercises that I was behind on. It was heaven. For once I actually enjoyed being a passenger and was thankful I don’t get car sick easily.
I finished two of the three exercises while he was sleeping, it was almost like it was fate. Both writing exercises fit perfectly with my book. The first one was on conflicting character traits, which fit perfectly into either the last chapter or second to last chapter of the book. It was very near to where I had been working during the prior week. I finished that scene very quickly and moved onto the next assignment. This one was about character introductions, one of the examples to choose from was your “character is harassed in a bar”. That fit perfectly into the plot line, though both characters have already been introduced as the scene occurs midway through, but I was introducing a secondary set of characteristics to the antagonist. I got about two-thirds of the way through the scene before the conversation in the car picked back up.
Other than the brief amount of time spent writing in the car, maybe an hour or two, I didn’t pick the notebook back up. In the evenings when the in-laws would go to sleep at ungodly early hours of the evening, my husband and I would read. I started reading a book on outlining, which will be the topic of my next post.
Instead of spending the weekend writing, which is what I would have done if we would have stayed home, I got to relax and recharge my mental and creative batteries. I saw beautiful sights, enjoyed nature and relaxed. If I would have been the navigator I would have spent more time in the wilderness, but instead I got to see most of the world through a window. It was still wonderful to be able to spend the weekend with people I hold dear to me.
The change in scenery and the ability to forget about all my worries and stressors was exactly what I needed for my writing. This week I have been plotting away while at work. I have several scenes planned for the remainder of Dissonance and even ideas for the third book in the series tentatively named Harmony.