This week, the inner critic tried to wrestle control of the story from me. I’m guessing it’s because I’m very close to the halfway point of the challenge. It’s more stories than I’ve ever written any kind of sprint.
And I started this story without any inspiration.
At this point, my brain’s going, “I don’t know what to write.” So it becomes pick something.
So I started thinking about a setting. In May, I drove up to the Shenandoah Mountains and stayed in one of the lodges there. The first thing that struck me walking up to my room was how it smelled. Of this wonderful wood. I’m thinking I might have to spend a bit more money and stay in one of the cabins, just for the heck of it.
I popped onto Pinterest, hoping I would find some inspiration. I did find some images (trust me, I am an image hoarder. I can always find images!), but inspiration? Meh.
Since it’s winter, I started writing about a snowstorm. Clearly the weather heard I was writing about it because we’re now getting 4-6 inches today. The dog and her boots managed to let the inner critic into the story, and by the time I hit the second scene, I wandered down a rabbit hole that had a dead end.
I did something new, which was to add some notes to myself for the next day. I could tell something wasn’t working, so I was just brainstorming some possibilities:
- Should I take the husband out?
- Should the deputy become something of a love interest?
- And what does Cassie do in her day job?
I woke up realizing everything after the first scene had to go, along with the dog’s boots, which was what steered me down the rabbit trail. Such a little thing!
Once I did that, I saw what I needed to do and the story worked the way it was supposed to. This is a mystery called Murder in the Lodge, weighing it at 2,600 words.
Meanwhile, some dogs in boots.