Behind the Scenes Writing Tags

Behind The Scenes Writing Tag

I am back, everybody! It was a crazy (but good) weekend celebrating my Dad’s birthday, and now I am trying to get back to my normal schedule.

I was tagged for the Behind the Scenes Writing Tag by both Annie and Schuyler, and I was tagged for the One Lovely Blog Award by Clara. These girls run lovely blogs; I highly suggest that you check them out!

So first, the Behind the Scenes Writing Tag:

– Is there a certain snack you like to eat while writing?

Well, not one in particular, though I am never against sweets. Chocolate tends to be what I eat the most during writing, just because it’s a treat. If I could have Chinese Dim Sum every time I wrote, then that would definitely be my snack of choice.

– When do you normally write? Night, afternoon, or morning?

I write at all times of the day. I write best in the morning, but because of work and our family schedule it is sometimes hard to get that time. So really, whenever I can write, I do.

– Where do you write?

Nowadays, it is at my desk or on my bed. It’s my corner of the bedroom, so usually all my notebooks and references are there.

– How often do you write a new novel?

Define write! I probably get fifteen to twenty new ideas a year, but everything is carefully scheduled, so I finish on average two or three a year.

– Do you listen to music while you write?

I do. I always have playlists for my stories (sometimes two or three per). I am a musician, so to not have music would be strange for me. Now and again, though, it will distract me (usually because it’s too beautiful), and then I will write without it.

– What do you write on? Laptop or paper?

Both! My laptop is my workhorse, where all the heavy lifting is done, but sometimes for first drafts, or at times when I’m out all day and am on a strict schedule, I will write on paper. I like writing on paper better, but I don’t really like typing up, so there you go.

– Is there a special ritual you have before or after you write?

Ha. It’s called run down really fast, open the laptop, and write feverishly before somebody needs you. No, I’m joking, though sometimes it feels like that. If I can, I:

  1. Go and get myself a cup of coffee, tea, or the like.
  2. Take it to my desk and clear off anything unnecessary or distracting.
  3. Lay out any references I’ll need.
  4. Start writing.

For my most recent project, I have one song that encapsulates it, so I will often listen to it with my eyes closed before I start.

– What do you do to get into the mood to write?

Like I said above, sometimes it is listening to a song, other times it is a picture or a video, and sometimes it is looking at my plans or the story’s Pinterest board. All depends on the story.

– What is always near the place you write?

Me. And almost always a notebook or pencil. Other than that, it always changes.

– Do you have a reward system for your word count?

I do, but it changes with the story. I’ll usually think of something special for the end of the book, and then during the writing, I’ll offer myself chocolate or coffee when I get to a certain point in my daily writing.

– Is there anything about your writing process that others might not know about?

I often cast my characters, usually before I write them.

When my characters are cast, I must have pictures or better still, videos of them, or else they can lose the spark of life.

When I get an idea for a story, I go on Pinterest and randomly choose quotes or pictures to go with the storyline and characters. It keeps things interesting.

When I interview characters, sometimes I give them something to drink while we chat.

For the One Lovely Blog Award, you have to share seven facts about yourself, so I am going to share seven writing facts about myself.

  1. I once wrote seven possible suitors for my MC, building them up to a point where any one of them could have married her, then I prayed and chose randomly who got her. It was perfect, actually.
  2. I have fifty old story notebooks in storage, most of which will probably never be written.
  3. I have a list of over seventy-five current stories which are waiting to be written.
  4.  Some of my best writing happens during orchestra rehearsal (provided my standpartner is missing). Playing music in a group setting highly stimulates your brain, so when the conductor is working with another section, I whip out my notebook and write. Last year I would get half of my NaNoWriMo daily word count in during rehearsal.
  5. Before I wrote stories down, I told them aloud to my siblings. For about seven years, on a daily basis, I would tell of adventures that we and our many “friends” (who may or may not have included NASCAR drivers) had on the Oregon Trail, on the Amazon river, on a 18th-century sailing ship, with Robin Hood, fighting in the American Revolution, etc.
  6. If you tell me that it can’t be written, I will do it. Or try.
  7.  Most of my main characters are male.

I am leaving both of these as open tags, so if you haven’t been tagged already, consider this your invitation! If you don’t have a blog, feel free to answer any of the questions in the comments below.

5 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes Writing Tags

  1. I’m like you in that I love handwriting my stories, but I absolutely dread typing them up. It’s just so boring. I’d rather be using that time to edit! 75 stories?!? Whoa! That is a whole lot of novel ideas to write. It’s so cool that writing during orchestra helps you. I play the violin as well, but I’d probably be get in trouble for writing during orchestra, even if the conductor was working with another section, haha! Still, no one says I can’t spend that time brainstorming instead!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, 75 is a lot, and unfortunately my brain is always working on more. Thankfully, some of the ideas are for novellas and short stories, so one of these days I am going to set some time aside and do a bunch of them. 🙂

      Haha! That is so cool that you play and are in an orchestra! I have one orchestra where I can’t write during rehearsal, partly because my conductor doesn’t usually work a long time with any one section, and also I don’t know what he’d think of it. But my other conductor is a nice, super laid-back guy, and it’s a community orchestra, so he wouldn’t ever say anything anyway. When I can’t write (which is pretty often now) I do brainstorm, and I usually have a notebook nearby to jot something down before I forget.



  2. I loved getting a little peak at the behind-the-scenes of your writing-life, Emily :). I enjoy writing with music, as well, but like you mentioned, I so easily get distracted by the beautiful music, especially if the music has lyrics in it! I love how you use whatever time you can squeeze in to write in, like in between orchestra practice or while with your family. That’s something I need to work on more! 75 is a huge amount of story-ideas, but isn’t it wonderful to have no lack of ideas for novels and stories? I know a lot of writers who really struggle to come up with any ideas. . . I tend to get a lot of those new story ideas and it really does take a lot of self-control to not run away with them when working on a current project!


    1. Thank you, Joy! Behind-the-scenes are always my favorite thing to write or to read from others.
      My efficient use of time was born out of great neccessity, I assure you. I figured out I could not be a serious writer with the kind of life I had unless I started filling in all my little cracks of time. 🙂
      And for all that 75 does weigh down on me sometimes, clamoring to all be written at once (stories do have minds of their own!) it is very true that I am blessed not to have any lack of ideas. 😀


      Liked by 1 person

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