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How do you write?


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I figure keeping people interested in this board can only be good for the group, and we all have writing in common on some level.

What do you do to write? What do you need? Do you have a ritual? Pat Rothfuss watched an episode of Star Trek The Next Generation before he started writing. Do you do something like that?

I don't write for long periods of time. My minimum is 600 words a day and I generally stick close to that so my girlfriend doesn't kill me.

While I write I have something caffeinated(usually Mountain Dew or Tea) close by. I throw on music, or something else noisy. I listened to all of writing excuses during my writing time. Most of the music I listen to is either Heavy Metal or Orchestral(usually a nice mix of the two EG: Nightwish, Blind Guardian, Epica, Dimmu Borgir, or something similar.

If I get really stuck I hand write out some notes on my tablet. If I get really really stuck, or want a scene to feel just right I plug into my synesthesia. When I hear music I hear colors. After I finish a book it has a color. Mistborn is a dusty orange. Dead Beat from the Dresden Files is Green and Purple. In my own writing every scene has a color I want it to create in my mind, and I will listen to music that matches that color to help with the scene.

You can probably see how heavily color oriented I am in my writing.

My next book has a very purple feel to it, so I will be listening to a lot of The Birthday Massacre to replicate that feel while writing.(Oddly the world I'm working in started as an attempt to create a world that felt purple, but my whole first book comes in warm colors. It was an attempt to replicate the feel of my favorite book, The War of the Flowers by Tad Williams, which is very purple in my brain.)

So like the topic title says, How do you write?

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I usually write under some mixture of caffeine and alcohol, often under some form of real or imagined deadline.

I usually go scene first, boring scene-setting, description, non-conversation stuff after-- though I'm currently trying to go straight linear with my current project.

Also, I've just now employed a professional editor to do some revisions with Blood and Tallow. I suppose that will feature into a lot of my future writing.

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I don't have a fixed way I write all the time, because how I write can vary depending on what I'm writing at a given moment. For example, to work on my sci-fi novel (the one I've been submitting here) I need large chunks of time to write new material, because at this point I'm extremely perfectionist with it (though not as much as I was, fortunately). I can't do much with a few minutes here and there. I can revise and edit like that though. Riding the subway is great for that. I just turn on the ipod and go at it.

For other projects, such as a fantasy novel I started for NaNoWriMo last year, I can much more easily write a little bit here and there, partly because I've not as perfectionist with it as a first draft, as opposed to the sci-fi story, which is technically in its 4th.

When I am spending a sizable chunk of time writing, I generally have music on that fits what I'm currently writing (given what I write it's usually either symphonic metal such as Nightwish, or epic/trailer music such as anything by Two Steps From Hell, Immediate Music, etc.) When I'm writing in small doses or revising, I just generally put on something awesome, regardless of the relevance to the scene/chapter.

I have a compulsion to write things in order, to date I have hardly ever written anything more than a short scene out of sequence; the story is meant to be told in order, so I write it so. Normally it works fine, though I'll occasionally find myself stuck somewhere for a little while. I'll also occasionally watch a scene or clip from a movie I like before writing a scene, if it is at all similar to what I plan to write in that sitting.

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