My elementary school gym teacher was fond of saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” I have a variation on that maxim: “When the writing gets tough, writers go on retreat.”
So here I am, very near the end of what has been a really long and painful road to The Demon Wore Stilettos, Book 3 of my Touched by a Demon series. What better way to cap this thing off than to hang out on Kiawah Island, off the coast of South Carolina, with three other writers? So that’s where I spent last week.
(Sadly, they weren’t Eight Ladies, but other writing friends I’ve made along the way.)
I was seriously, truly hoping to type “The End” before we left on Sunday, but that didn’t happen. What did happen was:
- I added 7000 words to my manuscript, bringing the total over 50K, which means it’s now a novel and not just a novella.
- I managed to write my way through a couple of scenes I’ve been struggling with for months.
- I added back some scenes from the original manuscript (before I decided to split it into two different stories). Happy to report that putting those scenes back, in slightly altered form, gave the story a much more rounded feel. (Before it felt like I was just doggedly trekking from one plot point to another.)
- I figured out what to do with my protagonist’s developmentally disabled nephew while she and her lawyer boyfriend make the jaunt to Hell. (Tip: Never isolate your heroine so completely that you don’t have a babysitter when you need one.)
And when it was time to take a break, I got to go out and walk on the beach and through a nature conservancy park and see lots of plants (not much blooming at this time of year, unfortunately) and animals. Including this heron:
And, in the lagoon below him, this guy!
What do you do to refill your creative well?