In four days I will be driving out to Amagansett to attend a weekend retreat with two women from my writers' group. It will be a welcome getaway after a late season hurricane and an early snowstorm. Thankfully the resort we stay at, Sea Crest, has power, heat and minimal storm damage so they are open for business. Open to welcome us into a little suite with 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, 2 bathrooms and a living room and dining area.

We will take our pens, notebooks, and laptops and write away. In between meals and snacks we will create characters, weave plot lines, amp up suspense and tension, and hopefully make significant progress with our novels. We will also spend time brainstorming so we can give each other ideas for plot lines and character development. Writing is a solitary sport but sometimes three heads create more of a story!

So you may wonder why I called this post writing confusion. It's an old tale for me. I've been beating my head against the plot wall of my novel and getting nowhere. I seem to be deep inside the murky middle and the plot problems I worked out have created some more problems--how do I go ahead with this, what has to happen and how do I make the scenes suspenseful enough to keep my eventual readers turning pages? I'm stuck.

Being stuck for me generally leads to switching genres. If my novel is stalled I write a short story, if the short story fails I write poems, if they sound off and lame I revert to personal essays or memoir. It's a conundrum.

In the next four days I have to decide what I will focus on while we are on our retreat. I can't bounce all over the place. I have to have a particular project to work on so I can make solid headway while I have that precious time away from work and home to devote to writing. The novel seems the way to go so I have to set myself up to sit down with my notebook or laptop and write away--get through the middle, build to the climax and resolve this story once and for all!

Wish me luck!


  1. Hi Renee - I too have struggled with plotting particularly with the last story I wrote, the story I worked on during NaNo.

    How did you writing retreat go?


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