Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Blog Chain - Getting in the "Write" Frame of Mind

Today is my turn on the blog chain. The topic for this round was chosen by the lovely Margie who wanted to know:

How do you get in the mindset of your genre? Do you research people or facts? Do you just reach into the recesses of your mind for events that would make a good story? Something else?” 

I love this question :D

My answer has sort of changed over the years. I write historicals. When I very first started, I had a hard time staying in that "historical" frame of mind, and a lot of modern terms and phrases would slip into my writing. My first book was set in Victorian England, so any time I needed help to get in the right frame of mind, I would watch An Ideal Husband. It would help ingrain the language and mannerisms before I started writing.

Since I write historicals, I do a lot of research, of course, but for the most part, I need something visual or audible to get in the right mindset. Movies help me with the language aspects of writing historicals, but for the emotional part, I'll come up with a short playlist of songs that strike the right nerve.

For the most part, I can just sit down and write. I'll go back a few pages and read and that is usually sufficient to suck me back into my storyworld, but if I need that extra help, I find a movie in the right time period or a couple of good songs :D

I'm the last link on this chain, but be sure to check out Eric's response from yesterday. And head over to Margie's blog if you'd like to follow this chain from the beginning :)

How do you get in the "write" frame of mind?


Michelle H. said...

I love listening to music as I write, although now the music usually is suited for what my 3-month old daughter wants :)

Eric said...

Music is awesome for helping my muse along. I am in awe of anyone who can write historicals though. I'd be too afraid of getting some fact wrong (or completely missing one). Great finish-up post, Michelle!

Stephanie McGee said...

I listen to music when I write, generally just iTunes on shuffle. Writing fantasy I think the process of getting into the story is a little more nebulous for me. Sometimes I'll go back through and look for typos just to say I'm in my WiP and then maybe the muse will strike. She's been on hiatus lately and I've got the chains ready for when she shows her face.

Matthew MacNish said...

I'm a madman, so I have no trouble getting into the right mindset.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

It's so important to be in the right mindset when writing historical fiction to avoid anachronisms. Good post!

Hanny said...

Great post. I write historical fiction as well, so it was great to hear another writer's method.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Sometimes reading books in the genre I'm writing helps get me in right frame of mind. Sometimes I just sit down and start writing. It depends on where I'm at in my head.

Christine Fonseca said...

HAHA! Love Matthew's comment - and that is how I feel about myself :D