I spent a few days at a hotel resort, in a room facing the ocean, up on the central coast of California. What a beautiful part of the country. California has it all: hip & dirty urban centers, mountains, the largest trees on the planet in remarkable forests, deserts, and a gorgeous coastline.
It wasn't by accident that I chose San Simeon for a writing getaway. The theory goes that if you're working on the large concept part of a project—big, majestic, open spaces are preferable for the creative mind. If you're in the late detail stage—a smaller, closed environment is preferable.
I'm working on a fantasy novel, and even though I'm about 30% through the first draft, there were still some things I needed to work on regarding the plot lines and the character arcs. So, I spent a few days, relaxing, writing, sitting, watching the ocean, reading, and swimming in a heated pool. And I think it paid off in spades.
I now have a very clear picture in my head of how my different plot lines are going to come together at the end of this novel, and where they're going to begin and probably end in the 2nd novel of the series.
Big, open spaces. In Los Angeles, there's not a lot of those. So, as an LA writer, it pays to get out of town every now and then, and see the wide open spaces in the rest of the this remarkably beautiful state.