Brief Thoughts on Writing: Easter Break at Ustaoset

Easter in Norway is a big deal. The country basically shuts down for a little over a week and everyone heads for their family cabins. So when my host family offered me the chance to have five days to myself at one of their cabins I took it gratefully.

I spent the first five days of Easter break here:

No people, no running water and only two little mice who hid behind the chimney for company. (We scared eachother several times over my week at the cabin!) I spent the entire time working on my novel.

I wrote seven chapters.

I woke up everyday and devoted myself to my writing to the exclusion of everything else. I checked Facebook only during mealtimes and accessed no other social media. The only noise was the wind or occasionally the music I played.

What did I learn from my five days of solitude?

A lot!

I learned that my focus vastly improved when I limited my internet and particularly social media time.

I learned that I need periods of almost total silence broken by periods of background noise, music etc, to maximize my productivity.

I learned that when I act out dialogue and scenes they become more realistic.

I learned that my scene list with summaries is my favorite writing tool. Even though it was super tedious and annoying to make, the result has been incredible. I am never lost with my scene list, I always know my character’s goals and what needs to happen in a given scene.

I learned that sometimes your story needs to shift organically to provide a better emotional connection to the characters. In other words you can’t always stick to the script, improv can be great!

My five days at Fyken taught me so much about myself and my writing. I have so much more to share with you once I return to Oslo.

I’m sorry for my long absence, I promise there are several short stories and research/writing related posts in the works for this week to make up for it.

I hope you all had a lovely week, whether you celebrate Easter, Passover, or nothing at all.

Here’s another picture of gorgeous, snowy Ustaoset. This was the view from my rocking chair with hot cocoa, blanket, pen and paper.

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