Thursday, May 24, 2012

Getting in the Writing Mood


One of the things I love most about my writing career is getting to dream up different worlds. But that’s also one of the hardest parts. To create a story that is deeply evocative of a certain time or place, and to pull readers into a new world, requires (at least for me) constant concentration. In order to create a certain mood, I also have to live in that mood. 

Sometimes I feel like one of those method actors, like Christian Bale or Daniel Day-Lewis, who immerse themselves so much in a role that it bleeds into their real life. (OK, maybe not that extreme. I don't plan on sleeping with a knife under my pillow any time soon.) 


 One way I do try to surround myself in the world of the book I'm writing is through inspiring images. For early drafts, I use a writing software program called Scrivener. One of the best features is that it lets you write full-screen with any background of your choosing, like this:


 You can change your background depending on the particular mood or setting of the scene you’re working on:


 I also find music very inspiring, though if I listen to music while I write I tend to get too distracted. Instead, I’ll find a song that fits the right mood for the scene I’m working on, listen to it a few times, then turn it off and write. Scenes from movies work well, too. Whenever I have to write a fight scene with lots of people, I watch this awesome scene from the Matrix II to get in the right mind-set:


Thanks, Neo!
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Megan Shepherd is a young adult writer living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Her debut book, THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER, will be published in January 2013 by Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins as the first in a three-book Gothic thriller series. She is represented by Josh Adams of Adams Literary. Visit Megan at her website, on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing, Megan!! I've never written to much more than music, or an old movie. That Scrivener idea is definitely interesting!

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  2. Whoa. You had me at the bare-chested Christian Bale!

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  3. We sound a lot alike in our writing methods and inspiration, Megan! ;-) Alas, I do not have Scrivener because I don't have a MAC, but dang it is tempting!

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  4. So, that's what Scrivener entails. I've been wondering what all the fuss was about. I can definitely see how that would help set the mood. Thanks for sharing, Megan!

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  5. Thanks for the comments, everyone! Maybe I'll start including a shirtless man in all my blog posts. There's worse things a person could be known for :)

    Scrivener does have some really cool features, if you haven't tried it out yet. They have a free 30 day trial.

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  6. Is that C Bale pic from that Reign of Fire dragon movie? If so, then....awesome.

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  7. I had no idea Scrivener let you do that. This makes me much more curious and wanting to try...

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