Monday, July 11, 2016

5 Tips to Writing on Vacation

Last week we looked at how to get through the summer and keep writing. Now let's tackle another summer distraction: vacations. If you are heading out on vacation it may be tempting to put your writing work aside, thinking it will be easy to get back to once you return to a normal schedule. Yes, that is true but there are also things you can do while on vacation to keep from breaking the writing habit.

1. Research.  We said it last week and let's repeat it again but this time with a focus on your travels. What better time to do research for a new story than while you are visiting a certain location. Recently I spent time in Vancouver for a week's vacation and since I hadn't visited in several years, I used some of the time to drive around the city to see how it had changed in case I wanted to use it again for a story.  Vancouver's Stanley Park was the location for my opening scene in Deadly Messages, and I'm currently working on a second book set there so it was a good way to get some of that old spark back when dealing with the location. I love walking along the
2. Brainstorming. Don't we all get bored when driving somewhere? What better time to brainstorm a new idea with family members? Let them in on what you're writing or what has you stumped and get some ideas. We spent an hour sitting at the border crossing in a very slow moving line. Talking about ideas for a story helped make the time go faster.

3. Visualize a scene. Consider taking a few moments while you're at dinner or sitting in a coffee shop, or even the airport while waiting for a flight to study the people and situations around you. I get good ideas from overhearing conversations. But I also like to study different locations, such as a wonderful little hotel where we had breakfast. I was able to think about setting a story in a quaint hotel with its narrow halls and stone steps and a little garden off the café.

4. Come up with a new story idea. I love to think when I am out on a morning walk or just wandering the streets. Think about how you might use a similar street in the story, or think about how you might describe the people of the city or the feel of the climate.

5. Use the time to critique. Just like brainstorming, use some of that driving time or while you are sitting around waiting at the airport to go over a scene you are writing with family members. It's a good way to get a fresh perspective and you have a captive audience.

Most of all relax and enjoy your time away so that when you come home you will be ready to write!

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