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Getting in the Mood:
Beyond Putting Your Butt in the Chair
Beyond Putting Your Butt in the Chair
By Lissa Trevor
“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” -- Douglas Adams
Whether you have signed a publishing contract or you are looking for an agent or publisher, you eventually have to face a deadline. Personally, I’m much more motivated to write when I’ve got a doomsday clock counting down when I have to send in a perfectly sculptured manuscript into the hands of an editor who is eagerly waiting for it. Otherwise, to be honest, I can find an excuse not to write every day. Then once I get my butt in the writing chair, I can easily while away the hours on the Internet or catching up on e-mail.
But when I really need a starting gun to hit the track full out, here’s what I do to set the mood:
- I need to be alone. Whether that is physically being alone or in the same room with my husband with headphones on, tuning out the real world.
- I need background noise. Until I get into the zone, I need white noise to block out the other distractions. Pandora Radio is a music website that allows you to choose radio station channels. I put on “Spirit of Reiki Radio” and allow the pan flutes and crashing water to take me away.
- I light a candle and I keep it out of the way of the cat, who has a habit of investigating open flames and winding up looking like Albert Einstein when she singes her whiskers. Yankee candle has some nice fragrances. I also like shopping locally and buying beeswax or soy candles from artisans. The flame in the candle helps me focus and the scent relaxes me.
- I grab a beverage. If it’s going to be a short sprint, I go for a diet coke or ice water. Longer hauls have me brewing pots of tea. My new release, SPANK ME, MR. DARCY was written with pots and pots of Teavana’s Pineapple Kona Pop.
Find your routine by asking yourself five questions:
- What relaxes me? (Maybe it’s a glass of wine, or a snack.)
- What helps me be creative? (Maybe it’s wearing a certain hat or scarf, or sitting in front of a picture.)
- What allows me to focus? (Maybe it’s meditation or prayer. Perhaps doing exercise or deep breathing.)
- What do I need to do first so I can concentrate on my writing? (Is it the laundry? Is it making everyone’s lunches for tomorrow? Do it or you’ll be distracted.)
- What am I going to accomplish this session? (Do you want to finish the scene? Get the confrontation out of the way? A thousand words? Have a small goal in the back of your mind before you start.
Once the mood has been set, I start writing. If I’m lucky, I ended last night’s session in the middle of the sentence so I can pick up the flow and go. However, sometimes I end on a scene and I’m facing a blank page. As daunting as that is, I know I’ve got to start somewhere. To get the words flowing, I’ll start with dialogue. My heroine will say something like “How could you do this to me?” and the hero will react and the words come naturally. Or I’ll describe the scene and put in something deliberately wrong, such as “The sky was green,” and try to fit the setting so I can keep the weird description. If worse comes to worse, I’ll pick up a writing prompt. You can Google writing prompts, but Writer’s Digest has some really good ones. I pick the prompt on top and start writing stream of consciousness. If it relates to my story, great. If not, I find that eventually, my story will get jealous about being ignored and I’ll be back in business.
But whatever you do to get you in the mood to write, make sure you write. A notebook and pen will suffice if you can’t get to a computer. If you need to assign a ritual to get your mind in writing mode, pick a song that gets your blood up. Destiny’s Child “Independent Woman,” Aretha Franklin’s “Think,” Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” or what I used to get in the mood to write the erotic retelling of Pride and Prejudice SPANK ME, MR. DARCY, the song “Payphone” by Maroon Five. I’m not sure if it was Adam Levine’s tattoos or the way he looked at the blond in the video, but it inspired me.
Good luck and keep writing! One lucky commenter will receive a pdf copy of SPANK ME, MR. DARCY.
Lissa Trevor has her stilettos firmly entrenched in the romance community. Spank Me Mr. Darcy is her debut novel from Riverdale Avenue Books. She is a frequent reader at Manhattan's Between The Covers events, where her novellas Wild Oats and Timelash from Coliloquy’s Entwined volumes 1 & 2 have been very popular. Lissa also created an erotic story template for Coliloquy's ValEntwined promotion that allowed readers to download a personalized ebook starring themselves and their significant other. You can find her at http://lissatrevor.wordpress.com/
Netherfield, infamous for its debauched parties of excess and luxury, has a new Master.
After finagling an invitation to the ball, Elizabeth Bennet is introduced to the powerful and prideful Mr. Darcy, while her sister Jane has captivated the new owner, Mr. Bingley. Having contented herself with the pleasurable caresses of her best friend, Charlotte Lucas, Elizabeth is intrigued with the sensuality she finds at Netherfield. But it isn’t until her sister Jane is taken ill and Elizabeth stays at Netherfield to nurse her back to health that she finds the dungeons of Netherfield and the man in the black mask who becomes her Master.
By the time she leaves Netherfield, Elizabeth will have become disenchanted with her childhood playmate and obsessed with Mr. Darcy, her Master, who has told her that she would be more marriageable as a Netherfield submissive than as a curious virgin. Elizabeth holds on to her affront at his callous regard for her until Charlotte marries Mr. Collins and Jane is discarded by Mr. Bingley. Unwilling to save herself for a man who'll make a good match and determined not to suffer Jane's heartbreak, when she meets Mr. Darcy again at Rosings Park, she decides to become his slave and offers him her virginity.
But when she finds out that her cruel Master has destroyed Jane’s chance at marriage with Mr. Bingley, she rejects Mr. Darcy – even as he reluctantly proposes marriage to her. It isn’t until he saves her sister Lydia’s reputation and brings Jane and Bingley together, that Elizabeth realizes that she loves him. If he still loves her, she would be most willing to take her punishment for rejecting him – and live happily ever after.
Spank Me, Mr. Darcy can be purchased at these fine locations:
My publisher is offering $3 off the book for a limited time, if you order from Riverdale Avenue Books. Just put the code ROMANCE in when you check out.