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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » The Mood

   
Author Topic: The Mood
Christine
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So here I am, trying to write a coy, playful, and romantic scene. The character exchanges some witty reparte, the woman gazes into the man's eyes, the man leans in for that kiss and...

the baby cries.

Sigh.

A month ago someone gave an author praise for managing to write her second published novel while she had a newborn and not to "use that as an excuse." Well, I get in what I can but I'm sorry. I just can't write a romantic scene with a baby screaming. And after I tend to her, I somehow lose the mood.

I don't know about anyone else, but I have to work myself into a scene. I have to spend some time thinking about where I am, where I've been, where I need to go, and what the characters are thinking/feeling. Interruptions really hurt the flow.

How does everyone else get into the mood? How do you mimize distractions? What do you do when life happens?


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Rhaythe
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Write these moments down. Later on you'll need to write for a character that is trying to woo his/her mate at home... only to have that character's child screaming out. You'll have fuel to first-hand tackle that situation.

quote:
How does everyone else get into the mood? How do you mimize distractions? What do you do when life happens?

My wife and I have no children yet, so lucky for me, that's not yet an issue. It was hard writing a tense action scene in my novel yesterday when the dog was underfoot with a smile on his face and his toy rope at his paws.

I guess the best I can say is, "Just Write". Everything can be edited later on when "the mood" hits. Best to at least get the scene on paper and work out the details of its atmosphere later on. In my useless opinion, anyway.


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wrenbird
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I have two young children, and I feel the exact same way as you. I need to get into a zone if I want to write my best.

That's why I write when everyone else goes to bed. Sometimes, that means I start at 10 or 11 pm and write until 1 or 2 in the morning. I recognize that this is not possible for everyone, but it works for me.


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Palaytiasdreams
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Oh I SO know what you are talking about.

My muses do no not like distractions and thus being so, anyone or anything that interupts their work causes them to shut down.

I have two children at home now ages 11 and 5 and I homeschool. I have set aside time After they are in bed to write and will do so until 0400 sometimes just so I can work with my muses.

I find that music helps me. I subscribed to Rhapsody so I could have my pick of composers at my fingertips for just the right character (as one character likes one style of music and another a different type) or scene. Movie scores are my favourite.

Ideas come all day long and I try to save it in memory or write it down. Sometimes it works, others it doesn't because the "mood" is gone.

I marvel at the lady who wrote Peyton Place while have wee ones underfoot and writing whenever she could. Now, I've never read the book itself, but just marvel that she did what she did.

My characters have stayed with me for over eight years, so I know it's a story that longs to be told and if they have to wait eight more for the wee ones to leave the nest, so be it.

But yes, setting the mood helps me and I know how it goes when the babe wakes and just adds a little ummm..voice to the story.

Rock 'em back to sleep...take a deep breath and try again.

Pal...puttin' in her two cents.


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Robert Nowall
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I live alone, but I tend to shut down literarily if I've got other people in my house---no matter how quiet they are, it throws off my writing mood if I know they're there. (But they're usually not quiet, and, besides, I have to come out of my cave and play the host.)
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Christine
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The trouble with writing after she goes to bed is that to be honest, she doesn't have a great schedule yet. Some nights she goes down easily at 7:00 and others I'm rocking her until 10. Oh well, she won't be 3 months old forever!

Rhaythe: I'm on my final draft right now. I've done the whole "just get the words out there" thing and it's time to make them shine.


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Rhaythe
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quote:
I'm on my final draft right now. I've done the whole "just get the words out there" thing and it's time to make them shine.

Well done! It's encouraging to know that it can be done with little ones afoot.

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Lullaby Lady
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I hear ya!

I know Stephenie Meyer is not well-loved here for her writing skills, but it inspires me to know that she wrote while her kids slept-- and that it took her 6 months from starting the story to her book deal.

(!!!)

I'd love to be that focused and efficient! I read on her blog that she was so engrossed in what was going to happen to her characters, that SHE wanted to know how it would end. So, she wrote and wrote and wrote. And say what you will about her writing skills, she does know how to suck a person into her stories.

You know, if I were that involved in my own stories, maybe I'd finish them sooner... Hmmm... I think I'll ponder that a while...

I've been working on my pet project for close to four years now, and it's because of all the kids and noise and "stuff". But they really are the highest priority at this time in my life, so I just jot things down as I can, and hope to finish my WIP before I'm dead! LOL!

I'm not trying to discourage, I'm just saying that you're not alone!


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Palaytiasdreams
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I know what it's like to be engrossed in a story I'm writing, but I also know what it's like to try and raise four children at the same time.

Children first, book later. If the idea is a good one, it'll stick around a while.

Leastwise that's my opinion.

FWIW...I've had my older children make up character bio's for some of the background people in my stories. They love it and it keeps them busy for a while.

Pal...pondering


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KayTi
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I have a writing zone I can get into and stay in and write like a banshee (hmm, how do you think banshees write? Lots of screeching, I imagine...)

I also have my no-writing zone where only replies to posts, emails, and mundane stuff get written. But it's writing, sort-of. And much of what I learn about writing is improving those other "sort-of" writing efforts I make.

And then there's the rest of my life that's busy with playdates and baths and lunches and dinners and clothes and dishes and enjoying this time while my kids are little. It's a relief to hear from so many other moms who write - I think there's something really intense about the young children years and writing gives me a great release. I suspect others have found themselves drawn to writing for similar reasons. I am lucky in that I didn't start writing until my youngest was 3, so I've had a little more breathing room. This year they both start school on Wednesday and I have all day - EVERY day. Oh my gosh, the possibilities are endless. (FWIW, I'm also looking for a day job, sort-of, but not too hard since I'm really looking forward to the time to write and paint the kids' bedrooms and organize the house and do all the other stuff I never have time for!)

It passes in a blink, those baby days. Try to jot down a few notes to yourself if you can before you get up - give yourself something to come back to later.


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Palaytiasdreams
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Ya know, I've thought about putting my two back in public school just so I could have all day to myself. There are those days when it looks reeeeally tempting.

I too am very impressed with the mom's that are out there. I've always wondered if I'm "the only one" who struggles with this...oh how to say...desire to put kids to bed early or hire a babysitter so I could "play" with my characters.

But like what has been said, kids grow...stories only get better with age so play while you can.

Oh and let your children see you write. My daughter who is now 17 is working on her own novel and my son who abhores writing, is creating comic strips of his stories.

Pal...pondering if hubby will ever get his football player.


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satate
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I know what you feel, I have a seven month old and a four year old. I can only write when they go to bed, but a few months ago my seven month didn't have a great schedule either. I just didn't write as much and spent more time reading since I could read and nurse her.

You're right she won't be three months forever and she'll get into a schedule eventually. It goes by fast.


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Reagansgame
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Christine --

oh you've captured my life. I have three blocks a day where I can write and since I never know which will be interrupted by the pre-school drama team, I take advantage everytime I'm on. I do most of my heavy writing after bedtime. I can't just pick up and put down in writing, I have to have quiet. My eldest can watch TV for hours at a time, but the two toddlers have to be watched when conscious... they tend to be trouble.

It's frustrating, especially when you're dying to write that scene. But, on the other hand, they force you to step away at random times and you have plenty of time to think on the scene until you are able to get back. I have often wondered if once my two youngest are in school, having a solid three-four hours to devote to the craft might make it suffer.... All those uninterrupted scenes will not have half so much thought dedicated to them.

what I find nice, is having some minds to bounce your novel ideas around with. That isn't to say that I haven't discussed plot and character with my 1 1/2 y.o. But, thier suggestions are lacking.


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RobertB
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I know what you mean; I was in the middle of a PhD when I had two traumatised kids arrive rather abruptly from Sierra Leone, and got no further. It's only now they're older I'm getting a chance to write again.
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BMFulks
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I minimize distractions by blaring music. I have to have music to get into the mood, otherwise I don't write very well at all. That, or coffee. A pot, not very strong, but strong enough you get that bitter taste with only a slight caffeine high.
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