Thursday, September 13, 2018

Road trip thoughts

I take a few road trips every year and I always use that time to flesh out ideas for writing. Most of my travel is on 4-lane highways and cruise control can handle 99% of the trip, so it's a great chance to go on auto-pilot and think.

This last weekend was no exception. I was making a presentation about Wikis to my writing group in Minnesota, and I already had that info somewhat ready to go. I maintain a wiki for my big series, and I wanted to share what I had learned about setting it up and maintaining it. I had a handout, presentation, and all that ready, so I didn't need to "practice" it as I drove. That left me free for creative thinking.

I am in between projects right now. I have ideas for 2 books, so I spent the 8 hours of drive time exploring thoughts about those projects. I dictate into a little digital recorder then transcribe when I get to where I'm going.

I now know the basic plot ideas for one book, details about the characters, their back stories, and their motivations and arcs. I tabled the other story for now and will save that for a brainstorming session with friends, coming up in October.

Not bad for a boring old road trip, right?



Leah St. James said...

Um...what's a wiki? I know Wikipedia, Wikihow...all those Wikis. But what do you mean about maintaining a wiki for your big series? And congrats on time well spent!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Um...what Leah said. I wonder too. I love the way you make good use of every moment you have. We could all learn from that. No down time for you. Way to go.

Brenda Whiteside said...

I need wiki info too. I have a system for series but I'll bet yours is more efficient. I drive 2 1/2 hours every 2-3 weeks to see my mom. That's when I do most of my writing in my head. Good creative time.

Jannine Gallant said...

I just did an 8 hour road trip each way. But it was on 2 lane roads (had to avoid the closed freeway due to yet another CA fire), and I spent all my time plotting how to pass slow moving trucks and RVs on an undulating road. Hmm... Maybe I should have taken 9 hours and plotted my WIP instead! Way to use your time productively!

Diane Burton said...

Glad I'm not the only one who doesn't know what a wiki is. Your road trip sounds very productive. Good luck with your new story.

Rolynn Anderson said...

My how differently I'm wired. Like Jannine, I'm concentrating on driving...not so good at multi-tasking I guess. And get this: if I'm trying to fall asleep at night, I think about my novel's characters. Boom, I'm gone. Heavy sigh...I want to grow up like JL.

Andrea Downing said...

I love road trips but like Rolynn I can't multi-task--must concentrate on driving. And, yes, what's a wiki?