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April 9th, 2006, 02:51 PM
First this will have several questions. Answer the ones you'd like and leave the rest alone.

OK, so sports figures are supposed to be superstitious...wearing the same underwear w/o washing it for the whole season sorta stuff.

What do we do?

How do we prepare for writing?

For me, I tend to do a bit of surfing (normally in sites that could inspire - artwork, writing, etc.). Then I will go for a walk around my neighborhood (when the weather is nice). I think that allows the inspiration to begin to focus (or maybe it gets O2 to my brain!) Regardless, it seems to help. Then, I sit down and pound it out, normally a scene at a time (500 words to ... LOTS of words usually). Once it's finished, I will read it aloud to my wife to gauge her interest (and catch those early stupid mistakes). Then, rinse...repeat.

Another ritual I have is to listen to something that will put me in the mood while writing. Soundtracks are the best for this. My typical soundtrack listing is:
Pirates of the Caribbean
King Arthur (bad movie - great music!)
Some selections from LotR films
Mission Impossible 2 (Metallica w/o lyrics!)
Titanic/Braveheart (same composer... same music really)
Passion of the Christ
Prince of Egypt selections

And some Native American Flute music

Each of these are used depending on what I'm writing. Passion for a scene needing sadness. Prince of Egypt for a scene needing a sense of awe and wonder. Pirates, King Arthur, Gladiator, LotR's for action or most general writing. MI2 for a HEAVY fight scene.

Anyway, there you go... discuss. As for me, I'm going for a walk!


April 9th, 2006, 05:18 PM
I tend to surf around before I nestle in for a writing session. Oddly, that's what I'm doing now. Otherwise it varies considerably. Usually I'm fighting just to get enough time to really sit down and write.

April 9th, 2006, 06:59 PM
I make sure I have walked the dog, have a liquid refreshment at hand and pick up a pencil. I always write the first draft into spiral bound notebooks. Sometimes I put music going or keep the radio or TV on low. I dont know why, but writing into a notebook really helps me focus, even though I am much faster typing into the computer. Also, the stuff I write in a notebook is almost always my best. So, I have a box filled with those cheap School Days sales notebooks. I actually have three notebooks when I write. One is for the story, the other is to scribble notes about the world the story is based in and the third is for my characters. I keep lists of what they have, bios, etc.

April 9th, 2006, 07:31 PM
I switch on my computer and write. I need a bottle of mineral water, and I can't write if I worry that I'll be interrupted. Sometimes, I have a bath in the dark before writing.

I never surf before writing; it's too distracting in that it gets me thinking in different directions.

April 9th, 2006, 10:41 PM
I don't really have to do something before I write but I am superstitous about what I write with. I write my stories out longhand before anythign else and I will ONLY use Pentel Energel liquid ink pens and I like to write in notebooks with 80 pages or less (it makes feel like the story WILL ever end if its a short notebook).

simon woodhouse
April 9th, 2006, 11:00 PM
I drink lots of tea when I'm writing, so I wee a lot as well, but that's not really a ritual just a weak bladder. I light one of those oil-burning things, the ones with the little water bath at the top and a space for the candle underneath. This sits on a shelf in front of the window above my desk, so I can look up every now and then and see the steam rising.

April 10th, 2006, 01:59 AM
There's just too many rituals. I've got more rituals about eating than writing.

April 10th, 2006, 11:43 AM
My only ritual is packing up and going to a little sandwich/coffee shop about a mile from my house. When I'm at home it seems like there are too many interruptions. So I go down there, order a cup of coffee and write while I listen to the clicking of dominos as the ever-present retired guys play games a few tables away.

I normally do not listen to music other than the muzac that the coffee shop plays. Unless the retired guys aren't in for some reason. Then the teenagers working the place blast either country or pop and I pop in the earphones and listen to whatever I have on my mp3 player.


April 10th, 2006, 01:47 PM
When I'm at home it seems like there are too many interruptions. So I go down there, order a cup of coffee and write while I listen to the clicking of dominos as the ever-present retired guys play games a few tables away.

I totally agree. For some reason, home is just a black hole for procrastination and distraction. I used to never be able to get anything done in such familiar settings. I love going new random places to get some work done...it's refreshing and keeps things "exciting" :cool:

James Barclay
April 11th, 2006, 04:14 AM
A quick bit of surfing... a big mug of coffee and a few minutes listening to chat radio before the views of Mr G. Public infuriate me so much with their vapidity and ignorance that I turn off and write instead.

Have recently diverted into listening to LOTR soundtracks to help me block out the world (though sometimes I like to hear all the racket so it's a mood thing).