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Writing - Where Do You Do Yours?
Travisina
Having 'fessed up to writing my ficlets on the 8.43 commuter train (A5 notebook, cheap ballpoint pen, cup of station tea to hand), I'm curious to know where and how other writers create their stories.

Do you have a 'special place' where you like writing?
Do you prefer background noise, music (which?) or silence?
Do you prefer to write at certain times of day? Do you set aside specific times, or fit it in whenever you have a spare minute/hour?
Do you prefer to write by hand or straight on to a computer?

Share your secrets here!
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
Nothing especially interesting in my answers to this, so I'll get them out of your way first!

1. My laptop is in our hobbies room, set up next to my dvd shelf.
2. Silence, though I sometimes listen to either Murray Gold's incidental music for Dr Who or some Russ Conway to get me in the mood when I'm planning to write; and that goes for whatever fandom I'm writing in.
3. I'll write at any time of day.
4. The railway sets my specific times for writing, by not needing me on duty. Having said that, I usually complete the fanfic challenges while at work because the more focused mindset helps keep me inside 500 words!
5. Always straight onto the computer.

6. I do have a sort of routine though: I exclusively watch dvds for a while, so that I can see whole series in a few days; then I listen to audiobooks for a few days to get my mind thinking in words instead of pictures; then I write a fanfic or two; then I'm back round to watching dvds...
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
Travisina
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:

Nothing especially interesting in my answers to this, so I'll get them out of your way first!


But it is interesting, SD! I love finding out what other people's writing rituals are.
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
JustBrad
Home, mostly, whenever the inspiration strikes.
I tend to proofread, revise at work during lunch.

Although more than once, inspiration has stuck on holiday, which is why I always have the netbook to work on ideas.
 
sweevo
In the computer room/spare room/library/study in my house, on my computer, using MS Word 2013.
 
littlesue
I 'write' straight to the computor in Times New Roman 16...I get writer's cramp so typing is so much easier, although back in the day it was all written out long hand and some poor soul, Alex D, Audrey or Sue King would look it over for me. With Shadow 1 and 2, Sylvie and Marie read through the story, as well as others and they added their own thoughts and suggestions and corrections. (I'm afraid my Hampshire accent sometimes rears its ugly head and the grammar needs correcting!)
With Lurena she usually supplies a plot idea with people etc and I just sit in the hallway and type away...I have been known to walk upto the shops talking to myself, which can be fun!!
I work most afternoons, so the morning, for an hour, is when I write, usually with the washing machine whirring away.
If I write chapters they are sent to Lurena who passes them on to our Beta readers..but the shorter efforts are sent as is.
Inveribly, when I'm thinking of an idea it always begins with "Avon.....did this, or did this"...strange that!
Lurena and I first wrote together for the Big Finish book. That was Interface. We've done a few more and I've just completed a follow on to Interface...called Encounter at the mo. The next one, awaiting a check over is based on and idea that Hubby and I were convinced was the truth...that Avon wasn't who he claimed to be!!! and that ties in with Encounter and the final story follows on from both stories. Lurena hasn't even seen it yet!
I usually write when I'm alone in the house as I can't stand people walking past and looking over my shoulder!!
Cold.....you don't know the meaning of cold.
Cold is when you have ice on the INSIDE of the window!!!


sues stories http://sjlittle.w...
sues youtube channel http://www.youtub...e54/videos
sues book shelf https://www.media...ne%20Shelf
rebel run video http://www.youtub...prqS-XZtLo
Lara and Sue's Stories http://lectorisal....webs.com/
 
BradPaula
I used to write by hand into a notebook and then revise and type it up, but now it's mostly right on to a file on my computer. I do occasionally still write things out by hand but always transfer it to the computer after. I need absolute silence to work and that is only possible during the day, as when Brad comes home, the tv, satellite radio and his computer is usually on simultaneously and our computers are only 10 feet apart, so I usually do not write in the evenings as it's too noisy for me.

For the monthly fan fictions, I usually will mull over a prompt for a week or two or until I get an idea. Then I tend to write it in one go. For my own personal fan fic, well when I had the time I'd write a bit each night, usually by hand and then transfer it to the computer for editing. I just don't have the time anymore and really want to complete this one story I started 7 years ago. But I live in hope- perhaps some day?? LOL.
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.
 
Mistletoe12
1. “Do you have a 'special place' where you like writing?”

At one time it was at my desk and only at my desk, tucked into a corner of the front room utilising a dining chair at the start – nowhere to tuck my legs. I replaced it with a basic computer chair which evolved into chairs bought to support my back and the need to spin like a child on a roundabout – usually to gaze out the window and wonder why I torture myself over every word in every sentence.

Now with the desire to spend the evening with the family, I pop the laptop onto my lap. There are times when we’re surrounded with countless wires attached to far too many devices – something always needs charging.

I also love to write in bed, stretched out in comfy nightwear and a cup of tea … it would be crisps too, if only the angel on my shoulder didn’t keep reminding me that I’d already cleaned my teeth. Only paper notebooks and a multi-coloured clicky pen in bed though – it’s not like at my junior school when we were reprimanded for chewing pens, now I can shove those suckers in my mouth in order to mull over a paragraph without a tyrant teacher looming in the background waiting to replace it with a pencil.

How do you write on public transport? I know I would end up feeling sick. Though I do always carry a notebook and can occasionally be found scribbling thoughts and ideas at the bus stop. I don’t think I’m the crazy person! Wink

2. “Do you prefer background noise, music (which?) or silence?”

Depends on the background noise. I swear pigeons are … what’s a polite way of saying ‘at it’ all day … every day? They have the ability to drive me crazy when I’m trying to remember the difference between imply and infer Wink

Music? No! Too distracting - though I have started playing the B7 LC’s in the background whilst writing at the laptop. I find it relaxing rather than procrastinating.

Silence is good … just like doing the washing up by hand, it allows my mind free reign to think about ideas and possibilities which will then have to be hastily written into a notebook.

3. “Do you prefer to write at certain times of day? Do you set aside specific times, or fit it in whenever you have a spare minute/hour?”

There are days when it’s ‘write now’, the juices are flowing, but I tend to write at both extremes: Early hours and late at night which lapses into the early hours. Early hours stems from when kiddo was a baby and the only silence to be had was a short period late at night running into the early hours; I learned to utilise it as a time in which to relax, breath, lose myself in my own thoughts. Now I principally write in that time frame.

4. “Do you prefer to write by hand or straight on to a computer?”

Always on paper, I couldn’t imagine it any other way. I have an idea, I turn it into a synopsis, it evolves into scenes which are sketched out and then those are transferred into a file on the computer … and then the hard bit starts!

I write on the basis that everyone is better than I am but it’s a passion and while I will never make the Sunday Times Best Seller List I couldn’t imagine a day without composing words on a page … well, paper anyway. Stack of A4 notebooks … a tower which will topple unless I finally get my AIG to place them into files.

What I can’t do apparently is write 500 words or less; something I have to work on in order to participate in the ficlet challenges.

Oh, and procrastination – snacks, toilet breaks and Fox’s Glacier Fruits are consumed until there’s a wax paper collection on my right hand side which are sometimes turned into aeroplanes.

I have a B7 story I’m writing the moment, and yet here I am, having fun answering these questions! Smile
 
Travisina
Mistletoe12 wrote:

1. “Do you have a 'special place' where you like writing?”

How do you write on public transport? I know I would end up feeling sick.

Obviously I can't do it on crowded tubes, and I sometimes do get a bit queasy on buses. But trains are fine - I love writing on trains, especially if I have a window to gaze out of for distraction/inspiration.

Though I do always carry a notebook and can occasionally be found scribbling thoughts and ideas at the bus stop. I don’t think I’m the crazy person! Wink

No, that'll be me too - frantically scrawling an idea after getting off crowded tube train (see above).

2. “Do you prefer background noise, music (which?) or silence?”

Music? No! Too distracting - though I have started playing the B7 LC’s in the background whilst writing at the laptop.

I'm the opposite - I like silence and don't mind music (some tunes can inspire ideas for stories), but I find spoken audio distracting, because their words end up tangled up with mine.

4. “Do you prefer to write by hand or straight on to a computer?”
Stack of A4 notebooks … a tower which will topple...

My tower has just toppled for the second time in 24 hours! I really need to find somewhere to store it all. Tower comprises notebooks, both A4 and A5, plus various draft printouts in the process of being edited.

Oh, and procrastination – snacks, toilet breaks and Fox’s Glacier Fruits are consumed until there’s a wax paper collection on my right hand side which are sometimes turned into aeroplanes.

Cups of tea, chocolate frogs, Twitter...

I have a B7 story I’m writing the moment, and yet here I am, having fun answering these questions! Smile

Looking forward to reading it!
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
Anniew
I write on my iPad usually when the family is watching TV but when I get obsessed I write late into the night, in the morning, waiting for the dinner to cook, in the car waiting for the kids to come out of school. At home, I sit in my chair or lie in bed and just write obsessively without a break unless I'm interrupted or exhaustion sets in. If I want to escape from interruptions I lock myself in the loo. I quite often write stories in my sleep - or so it seems. I wake up with whole chapters mapped out and written which I promptly forget apart from fragments that I drill into my mind and later write down and work on. Sometimes I have to write until a piece is finished. Others I pick at from time to time. The pick at stories are the ones that don't appear whole in my mind and I have to work at them step by step. I think about stories I am writing when driving the car, mentally developing scenes which I later write up. Often I try to be the person whose POV I'm writing from, or to imagine myself in the situation and try to identify what I am feeling and what images might convey this. Generally I write quickly, bunging stuff down and then I read it and change it, develop it, edit it, often abandon some of it (usually the stuff I like best is what has to go because it unbalances the piece). I leave it. Go back to it. tinker some more. Then I hand it over to Travisina or PC and they transform it for me into something so much better than the original version. Bless them!
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
dragonq
Home office. It's my job.
 
Anniew
Dragonq what do you write for? Are you a journalist, author, script writer, critic?
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
dragonq
Children's author.
 
purplecleric
Short answer - everywhere and with anything that comes to hand!

Longer answer -

I use A4 project books with different colour-coded sections (one for each fandom, original fiction, character profiles, descriptions of scenes/settings etc, plot devices/ ideas with a final section of outlines of stories to be developed) I scribble (always in pencil) in these throughout the day as the muse strikes. I use a smaller notebook or my phone when I'm out and about.

When I have longer periods of time (10 mins tea break will do), I concentrate on the current story I'm working on, developing it further. When it has gained critical mass I then head for the computer, transfer my notes and turn them purple (of course!) then the fun really begins as I flesh over the skeleton in black.

Read, edit, polish then park to revisit later with fresh eyes. If appropriate send it off to a beta.

I use music to evoke a particular mood, but most of the time my soundtrack is PCMinor's XBox battles. Times of blessed silence are rare so I often write late at night (I'm too much of a zombie in the morning to do anything other than the basics).

Once a week I try to set aside an hour or so for 'housekeeping' - filing completed character profiles, revisiting parked stories for tweaking and trying to prioritise the 'workload'.

It all sounds a bit anal, but as I have over 30 pieces in various stages of development, I beta for several writers, am a member of a very lively and prolific writer's group, and new ideas keep spawning, it's the only way I'd ever get anything finished!
 
Anniew
Dragonq. Any chance of knowing titles so we can have a read?
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
I'm more of a spontaneous writer, and it's rare that I'll change things when reading them back because I like my work to be an expression of how scenes appeared to me when I was 'in the moment'; being quite self critical, I would end up changing everything, not liking it anymore, and throwing every story away! So my revisions concentrate on things that don't make sense grammatically or that contradict each other, and typos of course. I'm happiest if my characters get on with their own adventures and conversations, and I just write down what they say and do; sometimes a character says something that changes the whole story, but I prefer to then change the story rather than change what was said. Fictional characters have their rights to freedom of speech too, even if they mess my plots up! That's partly why I almost never plan plots, especially endings, in advance. It's so much fun to see what happens if you share the adventure with your own characters. The other reason is my self critical side; I have written so many synopsis and gone "nah, boring. throw it away"...
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
sweevo
Here's a long answer:

I write on my computer - never by hand (started out using a typewriter due to my atrocious handwriting - can't write anything except for the date and my signature). For each chapter, I make a list of bullet-points detailing the events occurring in each chapter, and I fill out the story that way. If there is too much to fit in a single chapter (minimum of 5 pages), then I split the list in half (although the final chapter of my second novel - "Rubeus Imperium" - stretches out at 18 pages).

I listen to music when I can - the genre of music helps determine the mood/tone of the chapter. Favourite artists include Genesis, Mike & The Mechanics, Jan Hammer and Tetsuya Kawauchi (composer for the original The House of the Dead arcade game and other Sega titles).

I write whenever I can - morning, afternoon, evening, night... all of the above (although I'm currently burned out after writing two full-length novels in as many years back-to-back, and I don't think I can do a third one).

I give each character a biography and a basic persona, using a character archetype from an existing work of fiction as a template/model.

I NEVER go for fantasy because it's too easy to fall into the pit of overused clichés (Prophecy, Chosen Ones, Epic Evil Quest, No Characterisation, etc.), so my primary genre is generally science fiction and the action-adventure/thriller subgenres.

I always name each chapter after a line of dialogue spoken by one of the characters (the easiest way to give a chapter a name that pertains to the overall situation).
 
Ellen York
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:

I'm more of a spontaneous writer, and it's rare that I'll change things when reading them back because I like my work to be an expression of how scenes appeared to me when I was 'in the moment'; being quite self critical, I would end up changing everything, not liking it anymore, and throwing every story away!


This makes me feel a bit better about my self critical side. I'm making my first hesitant attempts at fic with the monthly prompts and am afraid they are horrible. If someone as prolific as you still has doubts, then it may just be part of the process (at least for some of us). Wink
 
Hugbot
Here:

i65.photobucket.com/albums/h212/ridshenon/MadSad/Writer00_zpsk6xa9osm.jpg

Without any musical accompaniment, and directly into the computer (by the way, using an obscure word processor called TextMaker). However, I do the proof-reading on paper:

i65.photobucket.com/albums/h212/ridshenon/MadSad/Writer04_zpsyyaxebcg.jpg

Of course, times have changed. In my primary school days, I wrote my stories by hand, first on stacks of lined paper, then into notebooks, which I embellished with my feeble attempts of cover illustrations:

i65.photobucket.com/albums/h212/ridshenon/MadSad/Writer01_zpsdwyjmtwh.jpg

At the age of 11, I began to use a typewriter. In my teenage days, I folded A4 sheets to A5 and thus made little booklets. For title covers, I put together pictures from various sources. The man and his cap in the following example were cut out of a mail order catalogue, the spacesuit on the washing line is from a washing machine ad, the landscape was taken from a calendar, and the buildings and the rocket I recycled from an old pulp novel:

i65.photobucket.com/albums/h212/ridshenon/MadSad/Writer02_zpsgejy2qu0.jpg

In my early twen days, I began to use a computer. I even photocopied one sci-fi series (with a print run of about 20). The cover illustrations were black-and-white photographs made by a friend:

i65.photobucket.com/albums/h212/ridshenon/MadSad/Writer03_zps5yj0s7vx.jpg

But I don’t try to produce fancyful little booklets like these any longer. I write my stories now in simple manuscript form.
 
Anniew
Ellen, publish them and be damned. They're stories. About Blakes 7. And unique to you. What's not to love?
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
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