Thursday, September 07, 2006

Getting back in the groove

I am, at long last, finally getting back to my work-in-progress. If you will recall, I left Annabelle and Dan on the floor behind the bar of the Inferno doing what comes naturally. They've been down there a while. A very long while, actually. So long, in fact, that had it been me down there with Dan I'd have hollered "Enough, already!" jumped to my feet (or maybe dragged myself to my feet after all that time), straightened my clothes, and gotten on with my life. Except...that's not what's supposed to happen next.

As you might guess, I am having a hard time getting back in the groove and getting on with the story as planned.

So, my question is... How do y'all get back into your stories after you've been away for awhile?


Betina Krahn said...

Dang, Candace. . . that was a long stint behind the bar! Thanks heavens it's fiction! LOL!

As for getting back into the work. . . that's tough. There have been times I puttered around for two months trying to make just a few pages after a hiatus. I think it helps to go someplace different for a few days. . . a hotel, a borrowed cabin or summer home, a retreat center, or even a library or coffee shop. Someplace where the ordinary of life is removed and all you have is the computer or the pad. Then you can escape the pull of everyday things and sink into the story.

Personally, I find that a three or four hour plane ride helps. Being trapped in a seat and needing desperately to focus on something besides the guy hanging over the arm rest is a potent stimulus for escaping into your story. One caveat. . . resist the bookstores in the airport. . . they'll only provide you with another avenue of escape. . . into other peoples' books!

Good luck!

Hey, if you like, I'll share my mother's recipe for linament with your heroine! It's a doozy.

Helen Brenna said...

Candace, I'm thinking you probably wouldn't have clothes on after all that time!!

Usually, I try to read/scan the book from the beginning to sink back into it.

That trick won't work for me right now, though. I have revisions on a finished story, while I'm trying to start a new book. Most of the revisions are simple, but one, in particular, means reimmersing myself in Incan mysticism/mythology otherwise the revision won't feel right.

I'm thinking a good filing system for research would help and I'm terrible at organizing things.

Good question, Candace. Wish I had an answer!

Kathleen Eagle said...

Funny Betina should mention the getaway fix. I'm running away on Sunday. I've been planning to do this--never tried it, but several writers I know swear by it--and now I'm set. I'm headed for Indian Country, the exact spot where the book is set. My plan is to do a sustained "scooping"--no looking back, just write. This book is started, and I have a tabbed notebook with lots of notes--generally consisting of bits of dialogue along with notes on character and there and a very loose chapter-by-chapter plan

Writing longhand often help get me going again. I think it has something to do with the fact that I started out writing longhand. It's a physical act that seems to get the juices flowing. It's a matter of writing through the brain's stall tactics. Maybe read through what you have. Maybe write some throwaway stuff as they pick themselves up off the floor. Maybe get down on the floor behind the bar yourself--you know, method acting.

I hope this getaway plan works. I'm staying at the casino, and since there's an extra charge for internet use, I'm safe there. I do need to hang out and eavesdrop a bit around the blackjack tables, but I won't be distracted into playing--too cheap. And slots are boring. The only thing that scares me is the buffet. But I figure six nights in the square footage of a hotel room should yield a rough draft. I'll report back upon my return.

Betina Krahn said...

Wow, Kathy, you're a brave woman! Sort of a gung-ho, sink or swim approach. I like it. And knowing you, it'll probably work brilliantly!

Year before last I arrived at RWA NAtional early, settled into the hotel, and got two lovely days of writing in before the masses descended. Room service in the morning and pool and restaurant later in the day as a reward. . . it was wonderful.

My former agent said that she knew a lot of writers who booked a week in a resort or went away to a waterside hotel to finish a book. Something about being plucked out of normal surroundings is apparently very freeing for the girls in the basement. I guess they like to get out and about sometimes!

Good luck Candace! Have fun, Kathy!