I don't often experience writer's block - maybe because of the way I write (it's chaotic as shit) or because my brain never shuts up (thanks...). Either way, when I sit down to write, I usually have a lot to say. My current project (The Forgotten Queen) is coming along nicely and I can hardly wait to start sharing some of it. But, there are times when I need some inspiration to nail what I see in my head.
I love to get away from my laptop to write. It still seems weird and counterintuitive, but I write my best dialog when I'm walking. Outside, away from my laptop. I start working through a scene and talking it out - out loud usually. I've found it lets me work and rework what the characters are saying until it sounds like a real conversation, not just stilted lines of he said, she said. I just start walking. It can help if I'm in a setting similar to what I imagine the characters in, but that isn't necessary. I have a great imagination, it turns out. So I'm walking and I start talking. Then once I'm happy with the scene, I dictate it all into Google Keep and transcribe it when I get back to the house.
So, with summer in Ottawa coming to a close, I decided to visit Mer Bleue Bog. I wanted to do some hiking and I couldn't have asked for a more perfect setting for doing some writing/walking.
**Warning - Very Minor Spoilers Ahead**
Into the Forest
In the upcoming sequel to The Remembered Queen, Jon and Aviana are fleeing through a forest. I'm not from places that have lots of forests so it's hard for me to write those scenes. I know what trees look like, but how does a forest sound? What does it smell like?
I parked at the entrance to Mer Bleue and found this waiting for me. This was my forest for Jon and Aviana's escape. Trees overhead, animals, all the underbrush. It was perfect and I wrote some awesome dialog. What started out as a pretty straight forward discussion changed as I was walking. I realized, both would want to be strong for the other. Neither one wants to admit to how worried they are. They both know they're in trouble, but they put on brave faces for the other. It turned into a really powerful scene that drove home how much they've come to care about each other.
Hiking the trail to the bog took me past a profusion of flower so I wanted to make sure I included lots of flowers in the forests around Forint. I took tons of pictures of Mer Bleue to reference while writing. So many pretty things!
As I came out of the forest, I found the ancient peat bog and waterway left over from the last ice age and its magnificent. Once you're out on the boardwalk, it's so quiet and peaceful. Because of the chemistry of the bog, there aren't a lot of bugs. There's just plants and a few animals who've adapted to a really acidic environment. Walking along the boardwalk, I worked through a couple tricky scenes, took some pictures and dumped all my work into my phone.
Jon and Aviana don't encounter a bog, but in my next series (omg there's a new series coming) my main character is going to get to struggle through one for sure!
It was a lovely and creative afternoon at Mer Bleue Bog. Ottawa is such a lovely city with all these amazing green spaces. Exploring the area has been a real treat for me.