Saturday, October 17, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015 Prep: Setting the Mood by Elizabeth Andrews

Setting the Mood

Candles. Some good music. Maybe a nice beverage. Some sinful, sweet thing to nibble on...

I'm not talking about setting the mood for your hero and heroine to do what they're dying to do. No, I'm talking about setting the mood for you to do what you should be dying to do: write, and write a lot.

Whether it's for NANO or just your normal everyday writing session, it never hurts to set the proper mood so you can write your fingers off. A specific place and time, a routine of some sort--lots of authors need that to get their brain into the proper frame of mind for productivity. Since we're heading into NANO pretty soon, it might be a good time to work out your routine so that as soon as November 1st arrives, you have your brain trained and ready to crank out a shiny new book.

I love a good soundtrack, not just for my movie viewing, but to put my brain into story-mode. A lot of authors I know can't write to music that has words and use movie scores or other instrumental music. I'm madly in love with Hans Zimmer (if you haven't listened to any of his movie scores, you really should go hunt up a couple), and I've used more than one of his soundtrack albums when I'm editing. But when I'm in writing mode, spewing words onto the screen as fast as my fingers can keep up with my brain, I need songs that really evoke the mood of my story, or put me into the mindset of my hero or heroine, so I tend to listen to music with words--and the music will change from one story to another. If you haven't already and think you might like to try working to music, try different things to see what gets your creativity flowing. Getting ready to write a steamy love scene? I'm a huge eighties music fan, so Def Leppard or Whitesnake totally puts me there, but I know my musical taste, just as you know your own. Maybe the words are too distracting for you. Definitely find something instrumental--maybe check out my guy, Hans Zimmer and his huge body of work, but hands off, he's mine!

Do certain scents make you happy, help you relax? I'm also a big fan of scented candles. In my office, I have a place high enough my cats can't reach, so I can light up one or two and that's another signal for my brain that it's work time. Maybe some spicy cinnamon, or a relaxing herbal scent, depending on what's coming up in the story. Scents may not work for everyone, and for those with allergies, be careful what you choose if you try this mood-setter out. When I'm writing on my lunch break at work, this is a no-no, but once I get home, all bets are off!

Are you ready to write yet? No?

I love when I know I'm going to have uninterrupted writing time. My music is playing, my candles are burning, and I probably have a nice hot mug of tea on the desk. I have friends who are die-hard soda-drinkers. I gave that up for every day consumption a long time ago, but I love my tea--so many different options, caffeinated and otherwise, all the amazing flavors. Plus when I take a momentary break, I can warm up my fingers on the mug, assuming it hasn't been sitting there on the desk for an hour before I realized it was still there. That happens a lot once I get going. That's why we have microwaves and nifty teapots, for when we have to get up to stretch and give our brains a short break (but that's another post). I usually have chocolate or gum tucked somewhere in my desk, too--when I sit down to write, I don't want to have to get up for anything once the flow starts. I want to be able to stay there until my designated time is up, or my brain needs a break, whichever comes first.

For me, that's really one of the best parts of making sure the mood is right--my brain knows these signals, and (usually) after I've glanced back over the 5 or so pages I finished with in my previous writing session, it is in the mood and ready to go, and so are my characters, no matter what their mood at the moment we pick up.

Hopefully in the next week or so, if you haven't found a way to put your brain into writing mode, trying a new routine, getting into "writing mood", will help you put words on screen (or paper), whether for NANO or for the rest of the year.

Now I'm going to go turn on the soundtrack for my current WIP and light up an amazing new candle and open up my manuscript so I can put more words onscreen. And just thinking about it is putting me into a writing mood!

About the Author

Elizabeth Andrews has been a book lover since she was old enough to read. She read her copies of Little Women and the Little House series so many times, the books fell apart. As an adult, her book habit continues. She has a room overflowing with her literary collection right now, and still more spreading into other rooms. Almost as long as she’s been reading great stories, she’s been attempting to write her own. Thanks to a fifth grade teacher who started the class on creative writing, Elizabeth went from writing creative sentences to short stories and eventually full-length novels. Her father saved her poor, callused fingers from permanent damage when he brought home a used typewriter for her.

Elizabeth found her mother’s stash of romance novels as a teenager, and-though she loves horror- romance became her very favorite genre, making writing romances a natural progression. There are more than just a few manuscripts, however, tucked away in a filing cabinet that will never see the light of day.

Along with her enormous book stash, Elizabeth lives with her husband of twenty years and two young adult sons, though no one else in the house reads nearly as much as she does. When she’s not at work or buried in books or writing, there is a garden outside full of herbs, flowers and vegetables that requires occasional attention.

Her first paranormal romance novel is Hunting Medusa. You can find out more about her at www.ElizabethAndrewsWrites.com.

Book Info

The Medusa Trilogy, Book 1

When Kallan Tassos tracks down the current Medusa, he expects to find a monster. Instead he finds a wary, beautiful woman, shielded by a complicated web of spells that foils his plans for a quick kill and retrieval of her protective amulet.

Andrea Rosakis expects the handsome Harvester to go for the kill. Instead, his attempt to take the amulet imprinted on her skin without harming her takes her completely by surprise. And ends with the two of them in a magical bind—together. But Kallan isn’t the only Harvester on Andi’s trail…

Hunting Medusa is available at Amazon.

Excerpt


It was one of those days when having the Medusa’s fabled power to turn people to stone would really come in handy.

Andrea Rosakis did not, however, have that ability, not this week, anyway. Even though she was the reigning Medusa.

She glared at the man on her back porch, wondering if he could ever understand how lucky he was she wasn’t suffering from PMS this week. And why wouldn’t he stop talking? Her fingers itched to slam the door.

“…if you just have five minutes, ma’am,” he concluded.

She narrowed her gaze on the vacuum beside him. “No, thank you.” And how the hell had he found her all the way out here? No one ever bothered to follow her rough, muddy driveway all the way to the top, even if they did ignore the “No Trespassing” signs posted at the foot of it. Not to mention the protective warding she had set at the boundaries of the entire property. Sure, it wasn’t the heavy artillery of protection spells, but no one else had ever gotten past it. This man however, had not only ignored the signs and the subtle “go away” protections, but managed the entire bumpy, muddy track into the woods and halfway up the mountain. Just to hear her say, “No.”

And he didn’t look discouraged. At all.

Andi almost wished she were PMSing this week, though it would be a real pain in the ass to have to get rid of a life-sized stone statue of a vacuum salesman.

Or maybe she could keep it. He was very pretty, even if he annoyed her. He was tall and broad, his inky black hair was a tad too long, and his bright green eyes held her attention. At least as stone, he’d be silent and still pretty. She gave herself a mental shake. “I’m sorry, but I don’t have time for this—”

“When would be a better time?”

“Never.”

He did blink at that, but his smile never disappeared. “I’ll have to check my calendar.”

She snorted, then clapped her free hand over her mouth. Laughing would not discourage the man. “Look, I’m sure it’s a great vacuum, but I don’t need it. I don’t want to see how it works, and I’d like you to get off my property.”

His smile did fade a little bit. “Well, I suppose, if that’s what you really want.”

She quirked an eyebrow, trying not to smile again. He had the faintest hint of an accent, but she couldn’t place it. Not without hearing him talk some more, and she didn’t want to encourage that either, or he’d just keep trying to sell her an expensive vacuum she didn’t need.

“Maybe I could talk you into meeting me for coffee sometime then,” he said.

Her jaw dropped. The cute salesman was hitting on her. For half a second, she indulged the fantasy of a date with the hunk. A real date, maybe ending with a real kiss. Her pulse quickened. Then she remembered one good date led to more, and eventually, it led to guys running away from her, gibbering like idiots when PMS struck. She shut her mouth and ignored the regret burning in her middle. “Sorry, but no.”

“You’re a hard woman,” he said lightly, his bright gaze sliding down to her mouth. “I’ll leave my card in case you change your mind. About the coffee, that is.” He forced a small card into her hand and picked up his vacuum.

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