My latest trip to Nevada as part of the SCBWI Nevada Mentorship Program has been an amazing experience. I’ve reconnected with old friends, and in the snow-covered mountains and sandy hills of Nevada, I’ve fired up my inspiration again.
There’s nothing like spending time with an enthusiastic group of illustrators and writers (plus the odd ghost) to get you delving deep into your stories again.
So I guess that’s the theme of this week’s post. If your writing feels stale and you can’t bear to look at that manuscript you’ve already reworked at least ten drafts of, take a break. Change the scenery.
And when you gather your travel memories together, it’s kind of like getting your storyline back under control. You take the best pieces, discard the extraneous detail and only keep the parts that are most powerful.
You retain the things that are memorable, keep the vision and the experience in your head. It’s something to apply to your characters too. When a publisher or agent reads through the ‘slush pile’, it must be your character that sticks in their mind.
In much the same way that landscape has distinguishing features, characters do too.
So if your writing has hit the brick wall, try to think of it as an adventure – a journey that will take you to memorable places that you wouldn’t otherwise visit.
Enjoy the ride.