Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Behind the Scenes Writing Tag



Annie Hawthorne, over at Curious Wren, tagged me for a Behind the Scenes Writing tag! The questions look like fun, so I'm going to join in--but I warn you, my process is more like an office than a fun hobby, and I could stand to work on the self-encouragement side of things.
 
the questionlings
– Is there a certain snack you like to eat while writing?
I don't eat while I write, but sometimes when my brain is grinding away and begins to boycott me for lack of food, I'll get up and 'scrounge' (my own description). Mostly anything we have in the house, from pretzels to peanuts. If there happen to be Cheeze-Its about, I'm one happy camper. Or apple slices.

I always feel guilty eating chocolate before lunch, so that almost never happens.

*hides from all the raised eyebrows*

– When do you normally write? Night, afternoon, or morning?
I could write all three when I have a deadline going. Nothing much productive happens writing-wise before 10, but I try to get going early, before 9:30, and do the odds and ends responsibilities. I am trying to be better about keeping office hours and ending by 8 or 9 at night, so I can have time for family and recharging. Late morning and late afternoon are my best writing times.

– Where do you write?
Either in a comfy blue recliner in our living room, or on my bed. You know, beds are one thing I get feels over. I never had an office, so for me a bed isn't just a bed. It's a haven of refuge, a productivity tank, and a place of great discovery all at once. A lot of memories are wrapped up in that spot.

– How often do you write a new novel?
HA. Not often. I've been working on my big historical fiction for a long time. Last year I got mostly through the first draft of Homeschool Diaries. Every year I do about 1 novel or novel edit (talking 150,000 word novel here) and about 1 novella and 2 short stories. I love having these massive focus-on-one-story journeys, with brief side jaunts into little characters I want to make an acquaintance with.

– Do you listen to music while you write?
I listen to vocals. Seriously. Vocals make me happy, and it's like the singers and I are all this big happy group working together. They sing, I write, and we all have a grand time. Andrew Peterson, Celtic Thunder (selected songs), and various CCM artists and random songs are all my novelling companions.

– What do you write on? Laptop or paper?
Very simply, I write on what I need to write on. When I didn't have a laptop, I wrote an entire novel by hand. As soon as I got a laptop, I switched to that for editing and efficiency. This summer, when my poor ASUS went to the repair shop and entered its last days, I wrote mostly by hand because I didn't have Scrivener. It turned out well, because I had a novella (Caribbean Dance) I wanted to get a certain ambiance that only writing by hand could bring.

– Is there a special ritual you have before or after you write?
Before I write, I put on my headphones and cue up whatever song is running in my head that moment. I may read notes to remind me what needs to happen, or a specially good scene I just finished. Afterwards, I check social media and read over bits of scenes I just wrote that I especially enjoyed. I may send a quote to a writing friend or my sister.

– What do you do to get into the mood to write?
Do you really want to know?

*battle scene ahead*

Inner muse: Schuyler, you need to get writing. There are half a million other things on your to-do list today and this 2,000 words isn't going to happen with you sitting around. You should have gotten ready faster. Hurry up and get moving. Why are you checking email? I suppose you can't help it, but you should be able to. Holy smoke, it's almost 9:30. Get started immediately.

Me: Excuse me, I really have been busy. If you want a list I can give you one.

Inner muse: Stern glare.

Me *abashed* *meekly goes to write*

I know it sounds terrible, but that's pretty much how I get in the mood. :P

– What is always near the place you write?
My purple water bottle and my mom and sister doing Bible Bee study together. We live in a tiny hobbit hole, so I write in the living room recliner while other life is happening around me.

– Do you have a reward system for your word count?
Believe it or not, I am working on one, and I'm as excited as a little girl with a new doll. I've never rewarded myself before, but thanks to the prompting and example of the wonderful Emily, I'm putting together a treat box for myself. So far I have tea, a new mug, a special notebook, a chocolate mouse, new music CDs, and best of all, coupons for little treats of things I like to do, but never make time for. I intend to add a chocolate bar as soon as I have the opportunity.

I also intended to have a picture for you all, but I shall have to post one later.

Now for not talking myself out of rewards. Any tips on that problem??

– Is there anything about your writing process that others might not know about?
I write sequentially, one scene at a time. Making character/quote posters is very important to my writing process, because it keeps me focused on the beautiful parts and encourages me to keep going. My characters are real to me. We are best buddies, and do everything together, even beyond the story: trips, meals, real life. (Like not obsessively, but quite often).

All right! Now for people I tag:

Katie Nichols @ Spiral-Bound
Wendy Greene @ We Learn As We Write
Suzannah Rowntree @ In Which I Read Vintage Novels
Emily Hayse @ The Herosinger

The questions:
– Is there a certain snack you like to eat while writing?
– When do you normally write? Night, afternoon, or morning?
– Where do you write?
– How often do you write a new novel?
– Do you listen to music while you write?
– What do you write on? Laptop or paper?
– Is there a special ritual you have before or after you write?
– What do you do to get into the mood to write?
– What is always near the place you write?
– Do you have a reward system for your word count?
– Is there anything about your writing process that others might not know about?

6 comments:

  1. Aw, I enjoyed this post. It's so much fun reading about the behind the scenes of how you write, Schuyler! Little things made me smile: my bed is a wonderful place for me too on which I have many memories of my writing-time - definitely can guess the fondness you have for that spot :D. I love that you're one of those writers who really pores your heart into your stories with big projects and years of labour, thought and writing/editing and just get really attached to those characters till they almost become like best friends! I think, even if I had the time to write every day all-day-long, I'd be a bit of a Tolkien in my writing as well ;).

    Ah, how do you write with vocals? It always drives me nuts hearing words and not listening to them - I tried it a few times, and I ended up getting the lyrics of the song confused with my writing! Do keep the volume down pretty low perhaps? I love instrumental music though - that's the best thing ever!

    Uncomfortable as it is to live in small-ish spaces (we sort of do live in a cozy little house too), there *is* something oddly comforting about the cozy nooks of a hobbit-like dwelling :D. But how on earth do you block out the noise/conversation of the rest of your family as you write if they're about? I can read with others about and are making a lot of noise, but when it comes to writing, silence is paramount.

    But I had a good chuckle over your writing muse. Oh, Schuyler, that's funny! :D ^_^.

    Aw, I love the idea of a reward-basket to cheer yourself up and reward yourself on a good day's writing! I'd love to see photos for sure :D. Hmm, for me the question would be - what constitutes a "good day of writing"? Because there are days when one works so hard, and yet feels like all the work done is crappy, and other days when the writing flows smoothly and yet it only took half the effort. I think you should reward yourself after any writing victories, and definitely after a long day of intense writing, be it successful or not! :D

    Looking forward to getting back into the writing-mindset during Christmas! *highly looks forward to it* So, anyway, I really loved this fun writerly tag!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, with vocals I just keep the volume up normal. :P I don't know how it works, but it's just abnormal for me, I guess. I don't mind--I love working to vocals! That actually helps me block out conversations around me, I'm sure, but in reality we are a quiet house and I don't have much talking to deal with. :)

      Yes, a reward basket is such fun, and I'll try to get photos soon! I'm rewarding myself at the end of every 2,000 words and at the end of every chapter or so--the rewards are little or big according to what I've accomplished. Last night it was watching Studio C on Youtube. :P

      Yes, and you shall have to do NaNo someday b/c I so want to do it with you!!

      Thanks for commenting. <3

      Delete
  2. Ooh, I really enjoyed reading through this tag! It's cool to hear a bit more about the details of your writing process. :) I especially enjoyed the part about how you motivate yourself to start writing. :P

    Love,
    Lizzy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My inner muse needs to be cowed and controlled. :P Maybe I should write it into a story. :P

      Delete
  3. Ahaha, your inner muse sounds much like my brainkeeper. Except that my brainkeeper is normally in a weird mixture of urging me to work and taking advantage of my procrastination.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You poor thing. I can very much sympathize. ;D

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...