Sunday, January 19, 2014

How Do You Get into a Writing Mindset?


I asked my writing group what questions they would like answered on my Writers Vineyard blog and this question came up first.

How do you get into the writing mindset?

One person said once he sits at his computer, it takes him fifteen minutes or more to bring his story to mind and then another fifteen to figure out where to take his characters during his writing session.
Another had a similar comment.

The third, a young woman, said, “I’ve been living with my characters for so long, as soon as I open the word processor, I’m in their minds. I know how they’re feeling each day and what I hope to happen to them. They don’t always behave exactly as I planned, but that’s because they have strong minds of their own.”

And yet another, who has roughly outlined the book she’s writing, said, “Often I’ll read the previous day’s writing and realize the outline won’t work. I’ll need to insert another chapter for the other one to make sense.” She had a man’s body briefly taken over by a demon and needed to add a chapter where he goes to church to try to figure out what’s going on.

How do I get into a writing mindset? If I’m going to be working on a work-in-progress, I’m much like our young writer. I know my characters so well, I can check my previous day’s work and make sure everyone is in place and pick up from there. For most of the past year I worked on two completely different style books at the same time, so when I decided to work on the sci-fi, I knew the tone would be different from the humorous murder mystery. Now that the sci-fi is submitted to a publisher, I can wrap up the sequel to “The Prince of Keegan Bay.” The sequel is tentatively titled, “The Swimming Corpse.”

Once I get started, the words flow on their own and I lose track of time and place. I am often surprised when my husband comes out of his office to suggest we might want some lunch as it’s nearly two o’clock – and breakfast was a seven.

If I have to write a presentation or blog, I often play computer games while the ideas gel in my brain.

The best way to get into a writing mindset, I believe, is to develop the habit of sitting down to write at the same time every day. You may have a full time job, so stick to an hour before or after work, but do it consistently. You’ll find your characters are happy to meet you when they know you’re there and waiting for them. If you have the luxury of working at home, then create regular office hours and don’t let anyone interrupt you. Schedule appointments around your working day just as if you would when working outside the home. Treat yourself as a real writer and others will respect your time.

Veronica Helen Hart is the multiple award winning author of four novels in print and as ebooks, The Prince of Keegan(Champagne Books),  Bay, Elena – the Girl with the Piano,(Double Edge Press) Escape from Iran and The Reluctant Daughters, to be released by Double Edge Press in May 2014. All books are available on line from Kindle, Amazon, B&N and Create Space. www.veronicahhart.com


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Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Once I sit down and open the work, I read a few pages and go from there, even if I have to do a heavy edit when I'm finished for the day.

If I've been away from the work for a while, I will start at the beginnig and "swell it up" with more detail and emotion. By the time I catch up, I'm typing faster and deeply into the story.

Big Mike said...

In the rare moments of silence I get I do my best envisioning. Given my current world is a madhouse, only time I get the empty moments is when I lay there at night waiting for sleep or my wife is doing one of her many girl gatherings (garden club, cards night, etc.

Michael Davis (Davisstories.com)
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Liz Fountain said...

Yup, the best way to get into the writing mindset is to sit down and write. At least for me. It's a bit of "just do it!"

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