Music Monday: Austen Girls, That Don’t Impress Me Much

I thought I would have a bit of fun with today’s post. 🙂 I know that Valentine’s Day is coming, and I did consider posting a sweet love song sort of montage video (there are several on my Music Meets Movies playlist). However, as I was scrolling through that list, I came upon this one.  May your Valentine far exceed these options. 🙂

Did you notice how the splicing of a few clips makes the story appear to be different from how it actually is in the film? I did. BUT I still enjoy the video — and that last shot of Henry Crawford and his expression as he walks away, I thought worked perfectly as an ending both for the video and song.

Just like last week, I do not have a story excerpt to share this week, but I do have a little peek into my writing process for those who might find such things interesting. 🙂

I have finished the bonus short story to go with Enticing Miss Darcy, and I have received notes back on Enticing Miss Darcy from my first reader. This means I will be sending it out to my second reader this week.

That means I will need to begin a new story this week, which also means I most likely will not have an excerpt ready to share by next Monday.  I always like to have a few thousand words of a story written before sharing.

So, how do those few thousand words and the rest of the story get written? Like this:

I tend to follow a process of writing that I like to call writing into the fog. (It’s my take on the info found in Writing into the Dark by Dean Wesley Smith.)  What this means for me is that planning before I begin is minimal — think word webs and sticky notes and a few bullet points at the most.

Where my planning happens is during writing. I fill in sheets of information as I go, and I have a story structure diagram hanging above my desk that reminds me to ask how the scene I am about to write fits into the plot.

To a planner sort of person, it might seem a bit scattered and even scary to write a story without an outline safety net. However, for me, an official sort of outline tends to tie me up in knots creatively.

It’s taken me a long while to accept that this is how I write best and embrace it. It’s not a ‘wrong’ way for me to write — it might be for someone else, but it is not for me.  This is where I got stuck — worrying that I was doing it wrong — until I read Dean Wesley Smith’s book in which he pretty closely described how I tend to write.

I did a series of seven posts on Instagram (#writingintothefog) about how I was writing Enticing Miss Darcy using this into the fog method.

In brief, my process looks like this:

  1. Brainstorm — Choosing the title first is major as that tends to be my focus. Then, I consider incidents that might happen along the way and any character defects/improvements I wish to include. This might be done by scrawling all over a page or plastering it with sticky notes, or it might simply be done in my mind.
  2. Set up the notes page document — this includes a chapters chart, a calendar, a section for characters and details, and a section to list relationship plot points. I also include an area for a working blurb, in case I have one. I don’t always.
  3. Begin writing — Jump right into the action. Step into a character’s head and settle in for at least the first scene. Remember to record things on the notes page.
  4. On the second day and all following days, I will re-read/edit what I wrote the day before writing a new scene. Remember to record things on that notes page. It’s super important to help keep things straight and see how the story is building.
  5. Anytime there is a need for a name or some info needs researching — pause and research before continuing. (And don’t forget to record things on the note page if necessary. 🙂 )
  6. Share — excerpts on Mondays and full chapters on Patreon.
  7. Freak out somewhere in the middle that I’m messing it all up, question everything, and torment my friends with my self-doubts. Take their advice to basically shut up and get on with it. (They always say it nicer than that. That’s how I reword it to myself. LOL)
  8. Hit that exciting moment when the ending starts to come into view and realize that it’s all actually coming together and might work out well. 🙂  (And often get struck by an idea for a sequel or even a series of sequels.)
  9. Write the conclusion.  Share excitedly that I am done! Bask in that glorious feeling for a brief moment before…
  10. Edit <– this includes a full re-read looking for errors and adding a few details that I didn’t already add when I re-read before beginning a new scene each night. Send it to my first reader and fix as needed. Send to my second reader and fix <– this fix includes another full re-read. Finally, prepare for publication.

That’s my process, and believe it or not, as crazy as that list looks, I LOVE doing it. I crave writing time.  I even feel lost when I don’t have something to edit before I start writing each night, and, about the time I start to see the end of my current project, I start getting fidgety about what I will write next.  I simply love to write.  And I can’t express to you how much I appreciate the fact that you guys read that writing whether here on my blog, over on Patreon, or in a book.

Thank you.

Have a wonderful week and Happy Valentine’s Day!

~*~*~

Leenie B Books

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Leenie Brown

Leenie Brown fell in love with Jane Austen's works when she first read Sense and Sensibility followed immediately by Pride and Prejudice in her early teens. As the second of five daughters and an avid reader, she has always loved to see where her imagination takes her and to play with and write about the characters she meets along the way. In 2013, these two loves collided when she stumbled upon the world of Jane Austen Fan Fiction. A year later, in 2014, she began writing her own Austen-inspired stories and began publishing them in 2015. Leenie lives in Nova Scotia, Canada with her two teenage boys and her very own Mr. Brown (a wonderful mix of all the best of Darcy, Bingley and Edmund with healthy dose of the teasing Mr. Tillney and just a dash of the scolding Mr. Knightley).

6 thoughts on “Music Monday: Austen Girls, That Don’t Impress Me Much”

  1. Good Lord!!! I would freak out before the start, just after the start, halfway through, just before the finish and after the finish. By which time i would probably have crossed most of it out anyway!!!
    On a brighter note – I do like that song and thought the clips went well with the music.

    1. Haha…honestly, I am often still freak out at the end. “What if no one by me likes it?” To which my eldest sister will reply “You worry too much.” 😀 And I still enjoy doing this? Must be something wrong with me, eh? 😀 I’m glad you enjoyed the video. That is a fun song.

  2. I’m a serious planner so this would absolutely throw me for a loop. HOWEVER, it works for you really well (apparently!) and I say bravo and good going! I have the same drive to read as you do to write so we gel perfectly 😉 Happy Monday Leenie!

    1. Happy Monday to you, too, Stephanie! You know, I do like lists and routines, and I do use them, but heaven help me if I have to outline a story! Strange how that works, but it seems to work. We each have to find our own style. I love that you love reading so much! 😀

  3. I can see where the planning would be crucial to the writing process. I know everyone has their method and this is working for you and i support you completely. Thanks for sharing this with us. When I write… I think of it as sketching in pencil first. I need to get my thoughts on the paper before I forget them. I just let it flow. When the pause comes… I can go back and begin to fill in the shades, adding color and filling out the depth as an artist would a landscape. I have always done that but didn’t recognize it as a method or style of writing. What fun. I have enjoyed this post as we looked into the process you go through in order to give us these delightful stories.

    1. I like how you described your writing. As Voltaire says “writing is the painting of the voice,” and just like an artist approaches a canvas with a concept, a writer should approach the page similarly — and we do each have our best way of working (just like a student has his or her best way of learning). It’s something we need to discover and own, which is not to say we can’t try new methods occasionally. Something in a new method might actually improve our old method. It was validating to read a book which described a process that was so similar to mine. I also watched some video by a writer who also said they tend to write this way as well. In fact, that is how I came to read the book. Something that goes along with this method and the idea of painting — I approach the story with a concept that has been turning over in my mind for a while and will continue to turn over in there until it is all out, but sometimes the ideas I have about the story need to change because I realize that the character in the setting in which I am placing them would never do or say what I had hoped he/she would. The concept remains the same, but the details (paint tints and hues) change. Anyway, enough of that. I could talk about writing all day. 🙂 (Just don’t make me grade it 😀 I’ve done enough of that)

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