Sunday, October 25, 2009

What is your trigger?


Current Project:For a Sister's Love
Status:Page 21

I finished up edits last week on Doctor in Petticoats and returned to the book I'm co-writing.

Well, I tried to return to the book. I read what I had written (ten pages) twice, then all the information I'd gathered- twice - and then I read through the IM chats I've had with the other author and I was still having trouble gaining any momentum on the story.

I sat staring at my computer trying to figure out what was wrong. I was only ten pages into the story and it couldn't be going wrong already. And it dawned on me. Music!

I listen to instrumental bluegrass when I work on the Halsey brother books, Shania Twain and Reba MacIntyre when I wrote the Nanny book(every time I hear them Brock and Carina pop into my head), Native American music when writing the spirit books (which helped me get a cadence to the writing), and Chris LeDoux (ex-rodeo rider turned musician) for the rodeo book(Holt and Gina always surface when I hear LeDoux), and I listened to insturmental Christmas music on Pandora while writing the soon to be full length Christmas story.

I hadn't found the music for this story. I didn't like anything on Pandora, so I rummaged around in my cd's and found three(that's what my cd player holds at a time) I turned the player on, returned to the loft, and sure enough words started flowing. I added ten pages in the last two hours I had left to write. Now I know what I have to do to get into the book and keep the words coming. Turn on the cd player.

I know I've talked about his before and most of you like quiet to write, but I'm sure there is some trigger that puts you into the book or the writing mood. What is your trigger?

10 comments:

Alice Sharpe said...

Paty -- That's neat that music works for you this way. I think we all have "training devices" built into our psyches, triggers like you said. Mine is sitting at my desk although if I'm going hot and heavy on a book, it doesn't matter where I sit or which machine I work on.

I wish music would do it for me, but I get too caught up in the voices or the tune or melody. Lately, I've been running the space heater on the "air" setting for white noise to cover the sounds of the house and the dh, etc... That helps block things out.

You know what, though? I say never say never. next book, I'm going to look for a music score and try it!

Paty Jager said...

Ahh, I have converted Alice! LOL I have always been music oriented, I just didn't realize how deeply. The other night on Dancing with the Stars one of the songs struck a chord with me and I was right back in High school band class seeing our music instructor whipping his baton. I turned to the dh and said, "That's a John Phillip Sousa march. We played it all the time in band." They had of course changed it up to use as dance music for a Latin power dance anyway. But it worked.

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Hmm...I don't know if I have a trigger. Bedtime, maybe. I only seem to be productive with new words once all the kids are in bed. ;)

I like music too...these days I'm hooked on instrumental music from Lord of the Rings. I'm listening to that now on my headphones as I work on line edits for my editor. But it's not really a trigger, just a way to drown out background noise in the house.

Now you've distracted me from my work. I feel the need to go find a trigger of my own...

Genene Valleau said...

reateraHi, Paty! Music with vocals also distracts me from writing. Though sometimes when I was writing the rock 'n' romance trilogy I'd listen to oldies to set the mood, then turn the music off when I actually sat down to write.

Not sure I have anything that triggers "it's time to write." I sit down at the computer and go. If words aren't flowing, I bang my head against the keyboard a couple times to jar them loose. :)

Paty Jager said...

Eli, Did you find your trigger? I think there is something about music either before (Genene) or during the writing process that sets the mood and tone of your writing. At least for me. And it sounds that quite possibly for others as well.

Deborah Wright said...

Paty, I've always found music inspiring. Lately I haven't been listening to music while writing, but I used to do that all the time. The first time I participated in NaNoWriMo, I wrote almost 75,000 words in a month while listening to a combination of the CSI soundtrack and a few Jimmy Buffett songs. An odd combination, I know, but they all fit the story I was working on at the time. At first, it was distracting, but after awhile I found I could tell when I was really in the groove, because the music receded into the background--like my own soundtrack: enhancing the experience, but not so noticeable that it overwhelmed the writing.

Hmmm, I have a couple of songs that make me think of my current work-in-progress whenever I hear them. Maybe it's time to pull the iPod out and create a playlist. Thanks for the inspiration! :-)

Paty Jager said...

Happy to inspire, Debbie! ;)

Kendra said...

I've never been able to write to music I like because I sing along. I do pretty well writing at Starbucks because the music sucks and I tune it out. I should try something strictly instrumental. Enya has some...

CSI has a soundtrack?? Not just The Who?

wavybrains said...

I have never been a music-triggered writer, but lately I have been trying to change. For my WIP, Taylor Swift is a huge trigger, so I've been going with that and trying to find other songs that help me along. Crash Test Dummies is also helping.

I also agree with Kendra and Eli that nothing is as nice as the sound of sleeping children :)

Deborah Wright said...

Kendra, yep, the original CSI has a soundtrack album. :-) It's mostly songs you hear in the background in seasons 1 and 2. It's one of my all time favorite CDs.