Sometimes it seems it takes forever to do the research for one small detail. In my case, that small detail is key to a domino reaction that moves my novel along, so it's essential to get it right. I went back over the first part of my novel and realized I need to find a new "key" because the one I have now is just not enough to propel my characters into the nest of vipers. :) I'm mulling over options and waiting for something to bob to the top.
Meanwhile, I'm keeping the creative juices flowing by writing poetry. It may not be great stuff, but it causes me to visualize a snapshot of life, and try to bring it to my readers--much like photographers capture a moment in which emotions live on faces and gestures emphasize the intensity of that second in time when the shutter clicked.
My critique group seems to have been most fond of a poem about coming upon a hummingbird suddenly and how that few seconds of awareness struck me at the time. I love hummingbirds. I always feel like God gave me a special gift when I get to see one. Silly, but they have that effect on me, even when they're attacking the PG&E guys trimming our backyard trees.
One poem I wrote for my daughter when she was about three has been designated "a children's book" by my group, so now I have to work up the introduction to the action, and give it a proper ending. Thus, that snapshot has to turn into a panorama of sorts, spread out to give more of the picture. So, another thing on my writer's to-do list.
When you find your writing slowing down, try a bit of poetry. Most of mine don't rhyme--that's just my preference--and when they do, it's pretty much a sign I'm being facetious. I don't know that I can write a serious rhyming poem to save my life. But if you like rhyming, rhyme; if not, don't. But give it a try and see if it jumpstarts some of your other writing.
Healthy Travel Snacks by Natalie
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