Previous Entry | Next Entry

pecking away at my manuscript
#4 Not even sorry for that earworm. If it's NOT an earworm, here you go. So to continue the question session, the lovely mrmonkeybottoms asked me, "What is your favorite scene in the movie, Love, Actually?" *cracks knuckles*

The most wonderful scene, the one I make everyone either shut up so I can hear (or kick them out of the room so I can hear) is when Billy Mack goes back to his painfully straight manager, Joe, and admits that he's the love of his (Billy Mack's) life. "Christ, thirty minutes at Elton John's, and you're as gay as a maypole." Everything about Bill Nighy in this movie is perfection. His body language, his inflections... I love him so, so much.

(The default scene for me is when Emma Thompson realizes her husband gave the necklace to the bombshell and quietly loses it in her room as Joni Mitchell plays. I've been that woman, silently crying so as to not disrupt the evening, and it's a terrible feeling. I think many of us have been that woman in some capacity. She's an amazing actress.)

I FEEL IT IN MAH FINGAHS, I FEEL IT IN MY TOES!

#5 The darling poisontaster asked me: "What's your writing process? And by that I mean both how you craft the actual story and HOW you like to write. Do you go to coffee shops and write long hand, do you do it at your pin-neat (or Oscar the Grouch messy) desk? Is there wine involved? Do you have a special The Writer is At Work glass or sweater or hat?"

This one is long, so it's going under a cut.

My process is just now getting sorted, quite honestly. The direct relation to me improving as a writer and having an actual method are, of course, directly related. Now, I have two, depending on what I'm writing. (Is this weird?)

Recaps I have a method I worked out after I started up HDJM and was recapping Glee from the beginning, posting one episode a day until summer hiatus ended. I was also recapping five other shows at the time, so a system needed to be developed ASAP or I was going to do bananas.

1. I watch the episode all the way through, sketching a rough outline of each scene onto a note pad, a summation of each cut or full scene, essentially.
2. I rewatch the full episode with my hand on the remote, pausing to write down quotes, flesh out a thought, etc.
3. I let it simmer (and if my husband watches the show with me, I talk out my thoughts to him. He's usually not listening fully, but it's mostly a soundboard that i need, lol. Wow, our marriage: so strong, much love. Ahahaha.)
4. I google image search for the episode, which helps me think through my ideas for themes, etc.
5. I write from my notes, going off book as new ideas sink in a lot of the time.
6. I read the whole thing out loud to catch errors, to see if it makes sense, etc. (I go back after posting a few hours later and re-do this, because you really need to edit multiple times. Time is of the essence with show recapping, though, so I have to get it up while the iron's hot, so to speak.)

All told, this means I usually watch a 9pm show and have the recap posted the next day by 11am, which is my typical goal. I've written hundreds of them, which is why I can knock them out quickly (and yes, this is quick. If I had screeners, these would be posted as soon as the episode ended.)

Stories
This is what has developed over time, and working with flaming_muse has literally been the tool most useful for me as a writer. With everything falling apart around me over the past (almost two) years, my writing time has been severely affected. Mostly because I cannot fall into the hole in the page, as Paul Sheldon (Misery) called it, and I am a writer who really needs to fall into a hole in the page. Metaphorically speaking, because I am NOT a longhand writer. Computer all the way. (Barring the notepad I keep on me at all times to jot down ideas. I type faster than I write, and I think faster than I write, so. Typing it is!)

  • Typically I get an idea that I email someone (Muse) and laugh about how I need that story. I'll flesh out the idea in conversation to more than "A guy walks into a bar with a duck under his arm" and then I start a document where I bullet point things.

  • (I'm a huge believer in a document for bullet points, snippets of dialog, ideas, etc.)

  • Lately, I've found that the most productive writing I've accomplished lately has been using the Pomodoro system. 25 minutes of nothing but focus, a five minute break to do anything else, another 25 of focus, then a thirty minute break every 3 or 4 Pomodoros. I start off the whole process by reading through what I've written last. This helps me get the story in my head, the voices, etc. If I need to edit/flesh out during that 25 minutes, I do it. Anything that serves the story is done (even if that means deleting bits).

  • I'm a needy writer. I need someone to bounce ideas off of as I go. I need someone to read through things to make sure I'm on the right track, because - and I'm getting better about this, I think - I can get lost in world building, in minutiae, in working in a joke that makes me laugh but isn't essential for the story to move forward. Muse has been the absolute best person I've worked with because she knows when I'm starting to do that and can pull me back firmly, but kindly. :D I've gotten very good about taking criticism without getting my feelings hurt.

  • (I've also gotten a lot better about knowing which criticism to listen to, and who I can ignore because they're not on the same wavelength as me. That's ESSENTIAL as a writer, says I.)

  • When I'm writing a longfic (which is all I seem to want to do lately, which is fine. It's just new for me) I write until the words stop. I try not to let myself get bogged down in the moment, because that stops my whole process. I can ALWAYS go back and add or cut or flesh out, whatever. I won't always be able to go back and sketch out an entire scene, you know? So I write until I can't anymore, for whatever reason.

  • I find myself acting out a lot of what I write, either by my facial expressions, or I'll physically try and duplicate what I just said my character did. Raise your hand if you've ever read a story where you cannot for the life of you figure out what the hell the person just did with their leg/neck/arm/whatever.

  • I cannot write in a public place. I need quiet. I need my door left alone, the phone on silent, for people to not "Hey, Mom?" me. Music is tricky, because I am made to pay attention to music. I can't pay attention to words AND music.

    ...unless it's a very specific kind of music, or it matches the mood of what I'm writing. (I'm talking about music tomorrow, so I'm stopping here.)

  • I HAVE to exercise the morning of a writing day. Have to. Even if it's just a walk, digging in the garden, I have to have had a physical outlet prior to sitting my butt in the chair, or there is no way I'll be able to sit in a chair. Hyperactivity doesn't go away when you're 40+, I'm afraid. (I also make myself do push ups or something similar when I get stuck. It doesn't always work, but it's a two-for-one positive thing, I guess.)

  • I like to edit/read through at night after everyone's settled in. My kids know what's what when they see me making myself a "writer's dinner" - their terminology - which is usually a mini cheeseboard, crackers, salami, veggies, other nibbles with a glass of wine.

  • I'm a big believer in GDocs for editing with someone. Typically I'll make a doc for a determined amount of what's written (a chapter or two) and send that to Muse, who will then mark it up with red ink for me, giving me overarching notes at the end, if needed. If major rewrites are needed for a particular section, I'll add it back in and note that for her to approve, otherwise for smaller things, I take her notes and build on that in my master document.

  • Before posting, I ALWAYS read through from the beginning. You're always going to find wee things that slipped your notice, realize there are elements you didn't hit hard enough in the beginning - especially now that the work is finished. This is why I won't post a WIP. Things can change direction, or things aren't explained well enough when I first sit down to write, so fleshing an idea out, or putting the right amount of emotion in there needs to be tweaked. So I post a chapter a day when the whole story is finished in order to focus on that one bit as a last moment of editing.


I cannot have a cat in my lap and write. When I'm incredibly unhappy, I need to write happy/funny things. I get very unhappy when I cannot - for whatever reason - write. I try to do something else, like garden or bake, when I find myself perpetually unable to make words appear on a page. It's a need to create, to make. My preference is with words, but a pan of brownies won't go amiss. :)

For Oh My Heck, bee tee bubs, I have a big white board with my outline for each chapter on it, but that one is its own process. One that hasn't worked, hence it not being finished. So. I'm still trying to figure out the best process for that one. (Like, how personal do I want to get - how personal does it require that I get, that sort of thing.)



And all of this talking through the process has me itching to get back into my Anne of Green Gables/Teen Wolf fic, which is now sitting at 39K and counting and tentatively titled "Kindred Spirits." And I seriously love it, so I should show it some attention. :)

Three questions left, and tomorrow is all about music. OH MAN, THIS ONE IS GOING TO BE GOOD. <3

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
sheafrotherdon
Dec. 27th, 2013 07:33 pm (UTC)
Totally still up for betaing! I just got back from my holiday travels, so I am all settled at home and have nothing but time on my hands from here on out. ♥
stoney321
Dec. 27th, 2013 07:45 pm (UTC)
Hooray!! It's considerably longer (hurr) so I'll make up a few new docs for you, nice and workable lengths, and send you the links for them to be read/red lined at your leisure.

(Unless, of course, you'd prefer a single .doc file, in which case I can happily email that!)

*cracks slate over your head*
*lovingly*
secondalto
Dec. 28th, 2013 12:24 am (UTC)
*raises hand*

I have totally read fic where I head tilt and say to myself, how did they do that?

I have also acted out things, and totally used my husband as a prop to help figure out actions.
stoney321
Dec. 28th, 2013 12:53 am (UTC)
Nothing makes me happier than knowing that you, too, act out weird body positions. When Muse and I were in California, I started describing this one fic, and had to act it out, and fell off the hotel bed from flailing. Hahaha. I'm a dork.

<3
mrmonkeybottoms
Jan. 8th, 2014 10:22 pm (UTC)
I love both those scenes! The scene before, when she opens the CD and realizes is also on eof the best moments. IT'S SUCH A DEVASTATING MOMENT.

My fave scene is when the PM is going door to door to find Natalie, and the little girls ask him to sing and they're all, "Please, sir, pleeeease!" so he does and the bodyguard starts in his low voice as well. Then the girls dance. SO FUNNY.

I also love when Jamie comes for family Xmas, decides to leave to get his love, and the kids pout, "I HATE Uncle Jamie!"
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

Tags

Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

Time Wot It Is

December 2014
S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   
Powered by LiveJournal.com