Wednesday, November 4, 2015
this is what really goes on...// behind-the-scenes writing tag
Hello friends! I've been a bit dry on inspiration as far as blog posts go lately -- wait, make that dry on motivation. The truth is I've got piles and piles of ideas, but I've given none of them the chance to come to fruition yet. SO! While all my baby ideas are crying for my attention, I thought I'd do this fun writing tag that's been circling around my favorite blogs lately. I haven't been writing as much as I'd like to lately, so maybe this will get me back in the mood and make me want to put the pen to the page again. :-)
I was sort of unofficially tagged for this one -- in Eowyn's post she tagged anyone who was reading it inside their house, which I did. So. Just in case I needed justification. ;-P
Is there a certain snack you like to eat while writing?
I don't normally eat while I write, because believe it or not it distracts me. Unless I'm re-writing or editing something, then I sometimes snack on something. In the late summer and fall it's always an apple, because I'm usually sitting in the barn surrounded by them.
When do you normally write? Night, afternoon, or morning?
Normally, in the afternoon. Sometimes I'll get a wave of inspiration first thing in the morning, but more often than not I do all my bloggy-stuff, my schoolwork, and other chores first. In the summertime, though, I'm all over the place. Occasionally I write at night, but not very often because that's usually when my family decides to watch Dr. Quinn or The Waltons, and at this point in my life I'm not dedicated enough to resist either of those. ;-)
Where do you write?
Here, there, and everywhere! In the summertime, I usually sit on the hay stacked in our barn. There's a bridge down in the woods behind our house that I often sit on, and a little clearing where I sometimes go. Writing inside, I'm usually either sitting on my desk or my sister's bed. (She doesn't mind.)
This is my cat Oliver sitting on top of my notebook. He's annoying like that.
How often do you write a new novel?
Well, I've yet to finish one, so I can't really say. This one's been simmering for over a year now, and I really have no idea how long it'll take me to get it as good as I want it to be. I've started other stories that I hope will grow into novels, but like I said...nothing's finished yet.
(Although I DID finish a short story this very afternoon, which made me super happy! It's only 25 pages, but HEY. Small victories.)
Do you listen to music while you write?
ABSOLUTELY. Usually it's one of the over 30 movie soundtracks I own, because music with lyrics tends to be more distracting. (Have I ever mentioned how easily distracted I am?) Unless I'm writing outside, in which case I listen to the music in my head. :-) Some of my favorite writing soundtracks: True Grit (2010), Wyatt Earp (1994), Lincoln (2011), Belle (2013), The Blue and the Gray (1982), and OF COURSE Lonesome Dove (1989)
What do you write on? Laptop or paper?
I just got a laptop last year, so before that I alllllways wrote on paper. (There was nothing romantic about sitting in the dining room at our family computer, where people could walk by at any time and -- gasp!-- read what I was writing, so I never did that.) Last winter I wrote a TON on my laptop, but I've found that it helps the words flow from my brain easier when I write them down on paper. I type faster than I think, and plus staring at a screen for so long tires my eyes. (Of course, holding a pen for three hours straight makes me arthritic...but that's a minor detail.) Typically I write my first drafts longhand, and then type them on my laptop, editing as I go along.
Short answer -- I do both, laptop and paper.
Is there a special ritual you have before or after you write?
Ehhhh....not really. I used to like to browse Pinterest, but I've found that that tends to distract me even more and doesn't really help get me in the right frame of mind to write my stories, so I quit doing that. When I remember to, I say a prayer asking for the right words to write. I take a few deep breaths. That's it.
What do you do to get into the mood to write?
I haven't found a good way to settle myself down to write yet. I'm either in the mood or I'm not -- it's something I have to work on. ;-)
What is always near the place where you write?
A cat. Seriously! When I'm writing in the barn, one of our cats down there, Magnolia (known as Maggie or That Darn Cat) will almost always find me and come sit on my lap. Sometimes she sits on my notebook and I have to push her off. Here at home, Oliver often comes to sit beside me and help me work out my plots. :-)
Do you have a reward system for your word count?
Since I don't usually write on my laptop, I don't pay much attention to word count. (It's not like I'm going to go through and count all the words I've written...) I try to set my goals by pages, not words -- which isn't always consistent, because a page on notebook paper might be two paragraphs on the computer, but what the heck. This is how I do things.
What were we talking about? Oh yes, a reward system. The best reward is the feeling that "I've done it!" I can't really think of a better reward than that. :-)
Is there anything about your writing process that others might not know about?
One thing is that I tend to base minor characters in my books off real people. I don't know if anyone would be able to tell, from reading them, but it helps me sometimes to have a real person to base someone off of. Hmmm, what else do I do? Like many writers, I make faces whenever I'm trying to describe an expression that one of my characters is making. (Thank goodness no one rarely sees this -- I have a talent for making really horrendously ugly faces. Just ask my sister.) Sometimes when I write a line that I really think is something special, I'll sit back and say it out loud a couple times.
That's all! If you carved a pumpkin this year, you're tagged. :-) Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some writing to do...