The Joy of Discovery

CindyCarrollEAs an author I love discovering new things about my books as I’m writing them. Though I do plan, with as detailed an outline as my pantser brain can handle, I still uncover things I didn’t know about the story. Part of the fun with being a writer is that joy of discovery. Finding out things you didn’t know, characters revealing parts of themselves that help you and the reader better understand them, plot twists you didn’t see coming but you somehow planted the seeds for. Because I’m solidly in between being a plotter and a pantser I don’t always know every little detail about my characters before I start writing. Maybe if I did the writing would go faster.

How to make a perfect cup of tea.
How to make a perfect cup of tea – in Fergus.

Being so caught up in trying to get the writing done and dealing with a day job I tend to stay in on weekends and week nights except for my writing meetings twice a month. There’s always another chapter that needs to be written, a story that needs to be edited, an idea that needs to be nurtured. Which means I rarely go out except to the grocery store when we’re running so low on food in the house that we’re down to toast for dinner.  There’s also been clouds of other things hanging over the house that made me want to curl up into a fetal position and never go outside again. Lately things are looking more optimistic. I’ve been going out more than twice a month because we added another regular meeting to the writing group. This one is weekly and I don’t attend weekly but it’s another night out at least.

12109127_10153234696767005_234387536377274747_nRecently my husband suggested we go for a drive to a town not too far from us to have lunch. It was a beautiful autumn day so I said yes. Turned out to be a fabulous day. We drove to Fergus, Ontario and had lunch at a tea house there. Something light for the afternoon. We walked around a bit and ventured into some shops. Then on our way home we drove through Elora. I’d heard of these places but never ventured that far away from our city. Elora is gorgeous. With a population hovering around 4,000 it is a small village that is still a little too populated for this girl but it’s not too bad. According to the website, Elora is Ontario’s most beautiful village. Having not been to many other villages in the province I can’t speak to that statement’s veracity. But it is beautiful.

12111977_10153234696692005_3907278759081988861_nWe spent a few hours walking around along the main street. The variety of shops and picturesque scenery made me want to go back again. And not just for a quick visit. I’d like to stay there for a few days. Have a mini vacation with time to explore all of the village, check out the history of the place, go to Elora Gorge, have a meal in one of the restaurants.

When I started writing I began with historical romance. Medievals set in England or Scotland. It’s a time period I love and find fascinating. More recent history, 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th century doesn’t appeal to me. Too modern for my tastes I guess. But something about Elora and the map of the city plan from 1845 sparked ideas in my head. I think I now know where I want to set a new paranormal series that has been teasing the edges of my brain for the past month. Will readers at large buy books set in a Canadian village? Who knows. I hope so. But I may be writing that series just for me.

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ReflectionsFinal2A road trip without a plan sounded like a good idea when Lena and her friends hit the road. After hours of driving in the heat in a cramped car they’re all ready for something to eat and a good night’s rest.

Reflections Inn looks perfect for the group of friends. A little run down, it hides a supernatural horror. A curse that replaces people with their repressed alter egos forces the friends to fight for their lives. Duplicates who lack restraint, crave gratification emerge from the mirrors. Too late they realize they didn’t know each other as well as they thought.

One by one, Lena’s friends learn the truth about their repressed emotions, their suppressed violent urges.

What doesn’t kill them can only make them stronger.

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18 thoughts on “The Joy of Discovery

  1. I do some detailed plotting by chapter, but I’m more than willing to shift a plot line late in the book if a more interesting, perhaps surprising, outcome presents itself. It’s kind of like looking at a road map. I plot out one interesting route, but then on the trip I see that a side trip offers up some intriguing fun. So off I go, making a turn onto a rural road and heading off to a new adventure.


    1. Love that comparison. It is like a trip. Sometimes you have to make a different turn when something interesting presents itself. If an interesting change happens in my plot as I’m writing I go with it and fix the stuff I’ve already written later.


  2. Ah, the joys of exploration and discovery. What a great place Elora sounds to be. I for one would read a story set in such a place. Let us know how it goes. Doris


  3. Elora looks beautiful and I think it’s a great name for a paranormal setting. I’d love to visit it sometime. Good luck with the new ideas.


  4. Does sound intriguing. And perhaps you will have to go have lunch there while you write? Ideas will flow into your brain I bet. Sounds like I write a lot like you do. It is fun to see what happens in the story outside what was plotted.


  5. Sounds like just the kind of place I’d like to visit. And I think (I hope, at least) that where a story is set is less important than if the book is well written. My books are set in my hometown, which is, admittedly, much less quaint than Elora.


  6. How fun for you and your outing sounds like something I’d enjoy. It’s good to get out and about now and then — traveling is one of the things I most enjoy. I admire your tenacity for writing your stories — my time is primarily taken for writing for extra money. I’m looking forward to spending time at home during the upcoming holidays to get back into my own manuscripts and leaving the newspaper and magazine articles for after the New Year. Continued best to you, Cindy!


  7. Beautiful photos and sounds like such a cute town. I say writing a story that appeals to you is the way to go since you’ll enjoy writing it and it will show in your story. It’s so easy to get too concerned about what readers want.


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