Jean, Karen and I spent the weekend at Jean’s wonderful South Carolina vacation home. A writer’s retreat, we told ourselves. And, it truly was.
We initially wondered if we’d actually be productive, or simply enjoy the beautiful weather, surroundings, and all that the South has to offer. Happy to say, we did some of each.
We brainstormed, strategized, and wrote. And, we had an important realization. Or, I did, anyway.
I realized that I had been thinking about Susan, my character, in too much of an autobiographical way. Initially, I thought that approach would keep it a bit easier… “write what you know”. And, while that is true, in part, it also became limiting. Susan wasn’t developing the depth that she needed to have. I wasn’t allowing her to delve into life situations, challenges, and growth that she deserves to experience. To be totally candid, she was becoming a bit boring. Too ‘vanilla’.
I needed to remind myself that our book is one of fiction. Susan is not me. Well, there will always be a part of her that is, in fact, me. (And, it’s a very fascinating part, trust me!) But, the blinders have been yanked off, and the creativity has been kicked in!
Susan will have strengths, weaknesses and experiences that I can only imagine. And, imagine them I have.