Behind the Scenes of My Writing Day

I don’t know about you, but I love the “behind the scenes” of a movie. It’s fascinating to me to know what went on to make the movie what it was, the makeup, the hair, the props.

I have five of the six movie books for The Hobbit.  And while I was disappointed with the movies, I still love the books, reading what it took to make costumes, the landscape, and best of all, weapons.

Fun fact. Did you know they used yak hair to make the dwarves wigs? Yak hair is stiff and was the consistency they wanted for the dwarves’ hair.

Today, I’m going to give you a behind the scenes look of my writing day — what goes on to make my day successful, and hopefully, productive.  

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When do you write?

I usually write in the early morning, about eight to ten o’clock. That is when I’m most alert, energized and ready to pound on my keys.  I can write at night, but by then I’m tired and my writing is not nearly as good — I usually end up erasing it all the next day!

Here is my desk, every square inch covered in writing books. And yes, Rey (my cat), is usually there. I’ve learned to work around her and though she’s always usually in the way, I actually find I write better when she’s around. #mybaby

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I rarely write anywhere else other than my room. It stays too hot in the south to write outside, and my house too noisy to write in the living room. 

 

Paper or computer?

I must admit, I love the idea of writing a book in a journal. The idea of having my story between the covers of a journal is thrilling, but alas, not for me. I know Nadine did it for her upcoming novel, Fawkes, and I found that so cool.

Character sheets, summaries, my synopsis (you, know, all that good stuff) I write on paper,  my actual story I  type on my computer.

Usually while typing, an idea pops into my head, which I frantically write on the first scrap of paper I come across. This has resulted in dozens of small scraps of paper in my story binder, but there is organization in the chaos.

 

Is there a special ritual you have before you write?

YES! I always (get it? always) take a smell of my House of the Wise candle from In the Wick of Time. Ravenclaw is my house and it’s bookish and writerly and all things me.

 

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Food or drink?

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Coffee is definitely a must, and when I sit down to write, l like to have a cup of my favorite flavor, Folgers Simply Vanilla, **whispers, it’s all natural, nothing artificial.** 

Then I pour that vanilla goodness into my favorite coffee cup. 

 

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As far as actual food, I rarely eat a snack while I write. Not only does Rey try to eat it, but eating distracts me from actually writing. And then my fingers get dirty which gets on the keyboards, so yeah, I don’t eat. On the rare occasion I do, I usually eat Lay’s Poppables Honey BBQ Chips.

 

20180516_101231.jpgI’m insanely happy with how this picture turned out.

After a good writing day, I do reward myself with pizza. Or seafood gumbo. But since pizza is cheaper, it’s usually pizza.

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Music?

Sometimes the only music I listen to is Rey’s theme on repeat. Other times it’s a mixture of these beauties, the best of best soundtracks. I hope one day to add the Maleficent soundtrack to this collection, because that movie had some awesome music.

 

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Sometimes I even blast Taylor Swift. *runs and hides* Sometimes it’s just a Taylor Swift kind of day and she helps me focus on my writing. You’ve heard writers are weird, I’m living proof.

 

What is near the place you write?

Besides my writing books and binder, there is distraction in the form of Pinterest. Pinterest is the bane of my existence. I need my story board open to help me write, but having it open is also, as we say down here, giving the devil a foothold.

I’m addicted to Pinterest and love having boards for everything under the sun and making it aesthetically pretty. If I let time get away from me, I can spend hours on it. **epic fail.**

I wonder if the creators of Pinterest knew this way back when and sat around the table laughing through their teeth. Yes, I am a strange person.

I try to also keep my finished novels in sight, so when I get discouraged, I can see them and say, “it can be done, just push a little harder.” And, you know, close Pinterest. 

 

 

**disclaimer. My books are NOT published. I just had LuLu print them for me. Check out Katie Grace’s post on how to do that here.

So there you go. That’s what goes on behind the scenes of writing my book. So how about you? Any special process you do? Anything you eat? Let’s chat in the comments. 

write on, rebecca

 

I’m Going on Hiatus

Hey guys. Today’s post is going to be short and sweet, just me popping in to tell you that I will be taking the month of April off from blogging.

I know this seems out of the blue, and in fact it is. The idea occurred to me after my friend Abbiee did a post saying she’d be doing the same thing.

And the idea sounded wonderful.

I’m tired and burnt out and I need some time to refresh myself.  April, May, and June are the busiest months of the year for me, and, as much as I love blogging, I just can’t do it all.

 There is also the OYAN Summer Workshop that is coming up alarmingly fast and I need to have something to take for critique groups (because I don’t want to be that person. 🙂 ) 

While I’m gone you can look at my Pinterest account, and before you know it, I’ll be back.  

 

Until then. 
Write on,
Rebecca

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How to Organize Your Story World (Even if You Aren’t an Organized Person

Building a story world is hard. You have to create cultures, races, traditions, food, and the list goes on. While many writers (myself included) can find the process fun, keeping up with it all can be overwhelming. Many of my writing friends swear by Scrivener. I tried it, and hated it. I much prefer having it all in a binder, and there is just something so special about holding a binder crammed full of papers in your hand and be able to say, this is my world. 

So today, I’m going to show you how I organize my story world. Do what I do, or shake it up to fit your style. 

****Disclaimer: Please ignore the cat stalking some of the pictures. I couldn’t convince her that the phone was not out for her. 🙂 

 

This is my baby:

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On the front I have notes to myself of things I want said/done that don’t have a place on my scene planner. 

 

THE INSIDE

Here I have a outline of what I want to happen in a month’s time. While my world is fantasy and not following a normal calendar, this still gives me a good overview of what I need to happen on a weekly basis. I chose 2016 because I needed Christmas Day to start out the week.

 

Next, I have a scene chart that I made on Microsoft Excel, showing me what happens, where it happens, the character’s point of view, and the result of the scene.

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Next I have my pages of  Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake method. That way if I ever get off track or need a reminder of where I want my story to go, my pages are right there.

 

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Next I have my map. You always need your map close at hand so you can remember where everything is.

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Then comes the real meat, my characters, places, and other info I need.  For characters, I have descriptions of them and their back story. For places I have descriptions of the landscape: its biome, animals, minerals, etc.

Right now my characters and places aren’t all together. I’ve added the sections as I needed them (for example, a Captain of the Guard just became a major character, and he needed a section of his own, whereas he didn’t before).

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In the back I have extra scene charts and empty maps.

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So that’s it, that’s my binder! (Look how thick that thing is.) I hope I’ve helped you if you’re struggling to organize your story world. 

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Write on,

Rebecca

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The Month of February

I started to write my end-of-the-month post last week, and realized that February still had some days left to her; February always gets short-changed because she’s such a short month. 

It’s finally warming up a little here, though the South usually skips spring and chugs right into summer. We’ve had some pretty days though, and I took advantage of one the other day to write outside.  It was so invigorating. Fresh air does wonders for your creativity and clears your mind. Take advantage of these spring days my friends before summer hits.

I rewatched the first five Harry Potter movies this month; watching that much TV in a month is a feat in and of itself for me. I hadn’t seen them in a year and felt I was pretty much due. Even though the books are always (ha! see what I did there?) better, the movies have a magic all their own that I love to go home to once in a while.

 

The World of Writing

I got my first rejection letter this month. Technically it was an email, but my first ever submission was rejected. And you know what? That’s okay. John Otte said you need to write a million words before you consider publishing, and I’m pushing forward to meet that and be the best writer I can be. 

I’ve struggled with Ashes Like Frost, not only because of sickness (yay wisdom teeth surgery) but I was at a place where I was stuck. I knew what I wanted to happen, but wasn’t sure how to write it. Then I accidentally threw away a scene I had written down on notebook paper. 

But after blood, sweat, tears, and more tears, I made it through three difficult scenes, and now I’m a t a place where I can just go full speed ahead.

February was a month of growing for me in that I learned to get going even when it hurts and to pound those keys till my fingers crack and bleed. Because I have a story that I love and it’s worth fighting for.

 

The World of Reading

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The Princess Academy [3/5]  – I’ve heard great things about The Princess Academy, and went into it with great expectations, but it wasn’t my cup of tea.  I found the dialogue rather dry, and the whole quarry speech thing annoyed me. My lack of love for it may be because I’m reading it as a young adult, so don’t let my bad review sway you from trying it yourself. 

 

Other

So two years ago I inherited my parents’ old room, and its three closets. For the most part, the third closet collected junk, junk I didn’t know what to do with and had no time to take care of.  It was easy to shut the door and pretend it didn’t exist.

That all changed last year when I read Marie Kondō’s, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, rolled up my sleeves and had a massive clean out, leaving me with an empty closet. 

And I obsessed over that wasted space and what I could do with it (I blame HGTV for my never ending desire to stage and use everything efficiently). Then it came to me — why not put book shelves in there and make a little library? 

I got to work, taking out the shelves (actually I bribed brothers to do that) and puttied the holes. Then I painted, and it turned out better than I could have hoped. Thank goodness Youtube tutorials exist.

 

                            You know what color I used? Ocean Silk 😊

I literally can not get over how pretty it is. I still have this many books in my room itself, and it’s hard to see how I was even able to walk when these were still in the room. 

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How was February for you?

 

 

                                                                           Write on,

                                                                           Rebecca                                                   

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Are You Embarrassed About Your Book?

It’s the standard rule of an author’s life.
You will be asked “The Question”
What is your book about?

** doctors have recorded that this usually results in rapid heart beat and shortness of breath. **

How we want to respond: 

 

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These reactions usually scare people off, and confirm the myth that authors are weird dangerous human beings who stalk people. 

So this is usually how it goes down: 

Um….
Well….
You 
Know…
Swords. Dragons. Love. Betrayal. Blood. Lots of Blood. EVERYBODY DIES. 

I used to feel embarrassed when I was asked this question. I was afraid to say that I wrote fantasy, because I didn’t want to be lumped with novels such as The Lord of the Rings, Narnia, or Harry Potter.  Not that there is anything wrong with those books, but I would get looks of disapproval from older people who said, “So you write magic?”

Or I’d try to be really vague and say, “oh, well, a retelling of Prince Caspian (yes that was really a thing I wrote. That unfinished novel lies in the graveyard never to be seen.)

Sometimes though, people would just be generally curious, and still I would be afraid to share the story on my heart. I didn’t want people to think I was weird. (Which if you’re an author, the sane ship sailed without you long ago.)

But in today’s world where judgment seems the norm, you may feel embarrassed or ashamed when asked about your book.

Don’t feel either.

Don’t be ashamed of the story that God has put in your heart. He gave it to you because you are the only person that can tell it the way it needs to be told.

 And to the people that judge you, or make you feel less, remember that you are loved and you can do great things. Your story rocks. 

 

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Write on, 

Rebecca

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