I went on my first a writing retreat some years ago, at the invitation of a kind friend. Several authors were involved. We went to a wonderful wild bit of the Devon coast, drank the pub dry of first rioja and then malbec and wrote up a storm.
The place had a small natural harbour, with a history, and the tiniest, most evocative museum imaginable. For a while, I think every one of us pondered a story about a dashing pirate.
And we sketched out the story of the girl our sailor left behind him, standing on the headland with her hair blowing in the wind.
It brought out my inner Bronte, anyway. And, as anyone who knows my reading habits will attest, that doesn’t happen lightly.
The wind was a fantastic new experience for me. So were the waves it drove crashing against the rocks to fling up fifteen foot of spray at high tide. It crept into the book I was writing at the time.
This was in spite of the fact that the story had no opportunity for pirate, Jane Eyre-model heroine nor even the sea before that writing retreat. Continue reading