Behind The Scenes

Evening my lovelies, I was tagged for this special Behind the Scenes post by the ever awesome Jamie over at Through Two Blue Eyes and it was just too darn intriguing to pass up!

And if you all haven’t checked out Jamie’s site yet (like I’ve been telling you for years…seriously what are you waiting for!!!) run over there and take a peek, it’s full of heartfelt introspective posts, writing advice, Harry Potter and Sherlock appreciation, awesome lists (LOVE), and so much more!

So here’s a little Behind the Scenes with Moonstonemaiden!!! 😀

Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Is there a certain snack you like to eat while writing?

Umm…not really. It’s a little hard for me to concentrate on typing when I’m trying to eat something. I mean it’s doable, but crumbs in my keyboard are not my favorite thing ever! 😀

When do you normally write? Morning, evening, or afternoon?

This generally depends on the writing mood I’m in. Normally I’m a nighttime writer, typing like crazy from six at night to three in the morning, but there are weeklong periods where I write from early morning until early afternoon. But these are admittedly rare.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Where do you write?

Usually in my living room, curled up on the sofa or an armchair (oh how I miss my red armchair!). I like having people around me when I write, company of sorts since writing is a bit lonely, but I don’t want strangers bustling around and distracting me so coffee shops and the like are out. I like have my family sitting around me, including me even though I’m ignoring them, while they watch T.V. or a movie or something. Thankfully they’ve gotten used to the sound of the clicking keyboard in the background of anything they try to watch!

How often do you start a new novel?

I get new novel ideas whenever they decide to show up, but I try not to actually start writing any of them while I have another novel going because it’s too much for me usually to switch back and forth between stories. I get too caught up in the thrill of the new and forget the awesomeness of whatever I was already doing and it’s just not productive for me personally. Unless I just have to get something specific down, I try to limit myself to just taking very detailed notes about new stories. There have been exceptions of course, I’m writing the Ratha James story while I write Prophecy, but I consider my Ratha James one more for fun than anything else, so it’s like a writing exercise.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Do you listen to music while you write?

YES! I have a playlist for almost every story I have in my head and songs for nearly every character so I make use of those, though sometimes I just want classical pieces that have no words, just emotion, or even just musicals on repeat for noise and so I don’t have to focus on the words. Silence is not fun. But on the other hand, I have had moments where music is too much and goodness knows people love to put on my favorite shows/movies when I’m writing (distracted…me? Not at all…) so there are RARE times when silence is golden. Like holy grail rare.

What do you write on: laptop or paper?

Paper is for poetry for some reason, and quick “I just have to get this down” moments, but all the polished forms of writing and editing are done on the laptop. I can’t read my own handwriting sometimes so typing is just so much easier. And it’s way easier to edit with a delete button. And copy and paste functions.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Is there a special ritual you have before or after you write?

I try to avoid rituals because once I latch on to them I have a hard time shaking them and then it becomes a hassle, but for a long time I had to play computer solitaire before I could start writing. Mostly I just listen to music for a bit and sing like I’m performing my own sold-out concert until I’m ready to settle down and start typing.

What do you do to get into the mood to write?

Sing! I listen to music and sing (badly but with feeling lol). Sometimes I daydream, especially in the car. Then it’s a race to my laptop to write down everything I was just thinking about before it all disappears into writer limbo. Sadly some great thoughts and ideas were lost this way…

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

What is always near the place you write?

My family is usually around but I’m not writing at a desk or anything so there aren’t any cute, inspiring objects that I keep nearby. I do make backgrounds for my computer though, inspiring pictures and snippets of my story that I find helpful, so I guess maybe that could count!

Do you have a reward system for your word count?

No. I keep an eye on my word count for sure, to judge the day’s progress but unless we’re talking college essay writing here (where I gave myself one episode of Merlin for every paragraph I wrote…highly effective) I’m not one for a reward system.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Is there anything about your writing process others might not know about?

Well nearly everyone who knows me and has seen me writing knows I’m secretive as hell about my writing and if I even think you’re looking at my screen I will promptly tell you off (sadly I’m often wrong but you know…CONSTANT VILIGENCE!) so that’s not new. Um…let me think. I dream about a lot of my characters sometimes and I feel like whenever I watch a movie/hear a song/do anything really I have to sift through all my character’s reactions to whatever it is until I find my own, which is discombobulating at times I can assure you, but also unexpectedly hilarious. And whenever I get really into whatever I’m writing I tend to start reacting to things the way my characters would and sometimes events in our lives seem to coincide oddly. But that’s all part of living the #writerlife, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Up next for Behind the Scenes, I would like to nominate Megan from Invisible World and Juliette from Vampire Maman!

Happy Halloween and NaNo Eve!

Happy Halloween my lovelies!!! I hope y’all have a safe and fun-filled night with loads of candy and caramel apples (save me one!) and remember NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow! So good luck everyone and let’s write our way through November 😀

Image From Facebook.

Image From Facebook.

 

Outlining May Not Be The Devil?

Recently (last night) I tried my hand at outlining the novel I’m presently working on and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was helpful…go figure! I know most of you are probably thinking “Duh Moonstone, that’s pretty obvious stuff, even a newbie writer knows to outline…” (or something to that effect), while others are rolling their eyes thinking that outlining is so overrated and detracts from the creativity of the moment (which is what I always thought) but really, it was very nice to sit there and draw out the progression of the story inside my head. I’ve always been a massive note-taker, I have folder upon folder of notes for each and every novel/short-story I have plans for. I write quick fact sheets (like so and so has blue eyes, not green and the name of the town is such and such), myriad of  oddball reminders to myself (do pecans grow in England…must check into this) and small scenes so that I remember the little details that I might forget overtime, as well as the large overview of the novel. But I never sat down and said scene for scene, this is how the novel will play out; it just seemed unnecessary and I felt it would keep me from discovering the surprises along the way that I never planned on having. There were scenes and major characters in my first novel that I never knew about until the half-way point or beyond and I never would have known to plan them in when I wrote an outline! And I admit, I still have that fear that I might miss something by staying on track, but I will let you know how things are progressing on that end later. I guess this is my trial and error novel…gulp.

And what made me come to the conclusion that an outline might be useful you ask? Hmm, well it’s probably because I’ve never had a novel so large that I was worried about potential word-count. I’m a very wordy writer by nature, but the amount of material in this story is worrisome even to me! I just figured that maybe an outline would keep me on track  and that seeing what my next scene should be might keep me from dilly-dallying and adding stuff in that might not need to be there. Another thing I discovered to help with this is chapter breaks (and now some of you are probably muttering to yourself but keep in mind, everyone has their own writing style). When I write, I normally just put the whole story down, add spaces for breaks, and just go back in later and mark where my chapters should be. But now I think writing each part as a chapter might help keep the story moving in the direction I want it to. Freeform writing worked for me in the past and it was a great experience, but now it’s time to see how a little structure helps or hurts the process and outcome. I’m hoping for the best here!