Monday, May 05, 2014


Are you one of those people fortunate enough to have boundless energy? Does the Energizer Bunny come to you to have his batteries recharged? If so, I envy you.

I’m one of the less fortunate whose energy level is low—read lethargic. So how do I recharge my well? So glad you asked.

One of the ways is to meet with friends. This past weekend, four of us met for a writers' plotting marathon. We loaded up our suitcases, snacks, supplies, and trekked to a local motel where we locked ourselves in to work.  We worked hard from noon Friday until almost noon Sunday. I mean serious work.

Not that we were always serious. Laughter? Was there ever! Until we had tears running down our cheeks. The fun did not take away from our productivity. Actually, our merriment added to the quality of our output. Chocolate didn't hurt, either. And I ask you, is there ever too much chocolate? Of course not. 

Armed with plotting boards, Post-it Notes, and laptops, we brainstormed eight books. Two of those books and one novella were for me. Hooray! I can hardly wait to start writing them.

Each of us brought our ideas/premises for our books. The other three authors helped nail the linear progress of those stories. Writing from one of these strongly plotted outlines is much faster and saner for us than the seat-of-the-pants method. 

There are writers who start with the premise and jump in writing by the seat-of-the-pants. This works for them, or at least they feel it does. Two successful authors who do this are Diana Gabaldon and Alison Brennan. For many other writers we know, the method leaves them floundering and cutting material they've worked hard to create. Or jettisoning a story because "it's just not working." 

The four of us prefer to have a firmly plotted road map for our stories. That doesn't mean we can't take detours along the way as the muse inspires us, but we always return to the main highway of our plot map. For us, this produces a better story.

The result is that in spite of almost no sleep, way too much junk food, and being tired, I came home with my internal writing batteries recharged. 

If you’re not a writer, you probably don’t care about turning points, inciting incidents, black moments, and resolution. You’re interested in a great read. So are we, and we strive to make certain our books will offer readers the very best we have to offer.

How do you recharge?

Thanks for stopping by!

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