Early in the process of writing EVERFOUND, I found myself stuck. “Writer’s Cliff.” The original direction I felt the story would take just wasn’t working. I still had the ending fairly worked out—I knew where the story was going from book one—but getting there was the problem.
As it was a story about ghosts, I decided to spend a few days aboard the Queen Mary — which is a huge old ocean liner that is permanently docked in Long Beach California, and is now a hotel. A haunted hotel. It’s filled with creepy passageways and deserted ball rooms. They even give “ghost tours.”
After a day and a half, I felt like pounding my head against the bulkhead. No ideas. Brain dead. The story wasn’t gelling, and I doubted my ability to tell it. I stayed up till midnight in my little windowless cabin, and passed out from exhaustion. Not a page had been written since I arrived. Or, more accurately, dozens of pages were written, but every single one of them was torn out, and tossed into the trash.
Then I woke up at about 3:30 AM. I was lying in the pitch dark of the cabin, and suddenly I saw the book playing in my head like a movie, so I figured, okay, I’ll watch this movie in my head and see where it takes me. Out of nowhere, all these ideas began to fill my brain. New directions for the story, new motivations for the characters, even new characters. In short, the story began to write itself in my head. I kept watching that mind-movie getting more and more excited. With less than four hours sleep, I got up, and began writing. I went on deck to watch the sun rise, and wrote all day until it started to get dark. I was thrilled with everything that I came up with, and the story was moving forward in leaps and bounds. I love those times when a flash of inspiration hits you, and you begin to write up a storm! More on Wednesday.