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Plotting by the sun

The sun came back this week. I really, really needed it. Cloudy days may be perfect for staying inside and writing, but I need that bright light to keep my brain turned on. Nothing gets the creative juices flowing like a run in the sun.

Overcast days make me want to nap, or curl up with tea and a good book. Write? Not so much.

So, yeah, we won't be retiring to Seattle if I have anything to say about it. Which–thankfully–I do.

Enough procrastinating. I'm avoiding the subject of plotting. Why? Because I'm struggling with it. As I finish up the first major revision of my current MS and start stretching my brain around the next book, I keep getting hung up on the plot.

Or lack thereof.

I have a basic premise for how the characters meet, their personalities and backgrounds, and the story setting. If I were writing a contemporary romance, I'd be almost done. Throw in some conflicting goals and a few fun twists. Bam!

But, wait. I'm writing romantic suspense. I need the suspense part.

I've always had trouble coming up with the initial evil component, but once I have it, then I can run with it. There are plenty of interesting motivations and crimes out there, but so far none of them appeal to me. Part of the problem this time is that my characters are in the military, and I wanted the crime to be related to that somehow.

So, I think of how much I don't know about the military (in spite of how much I do know, having spent most of my life in or around it), and I freeze up.

I think what it really comes down to is that I need to develop my devious mind.

Any ideas? 😉

Tell your friends!


  1. Martha W


    Hi Gwen!

    Hhm… ideas, eh?

    Well, you could always do a virus of some kind that the good guys have to transport somewhere and the bad guys are trying to get it… but that’s kinda… Mission Impossible.

    You could have the FMC privy to a piece of information and the bad guy wants her dead for it.

    You could have the bad guy out for revenge for some perceived slight to him by the military and is bent on taking it out on the MMC and the FMC gets caught in the action.

    There are sooooo many possibilities there… Good luck!

  2. Reply

    Ahhh, it’s a beautiful sunny day here today. I think I share your mind. As my husband and I were walking the dog this morning I kept making him move to the sunny side of the street, I told him that I literally crave the sun. I could never handle the Pacific Northwest (no matter how breathtaking Vancouver looks on my TV).

    Good luck with the plotting. Bouncing pot ideas around with writing buddies is one of my favorite parts of the process.

    • Reply

      I think living in Arizona for so long affected my brain chemistry! And, yep, I love the beauty of the NW, but I’d need a full spectrum light aimed at my face all day long.

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