• Karen Baney

Changes to My Writing Process

As I’ve started writing the Colter Sons Series, I’m making a few changes to my writing process and even my writing style. It’s important to me to continue to evolve and grow as a writer.

In the past, when I sat down in front of my computer to write, I needed the house to be quiet. No loud TV blaring, no music, no conversation, and absolutely no barking (thanks Daisy Mae).


As a programmer at my day job, I’ve always preferred writing code with very loud, high energy music blaring in my headphones or earbuds. It helps me focus and accomplish more. It motivates me when I feel sluggish. It distracts my brain from the difficulty of the task in front of me and I find that I solve problems better when I’m jamming to my favorite music.


Well, in the last four months, I’ve started listening to music while I write. It’s a new thing, but I’ve found the same focus I achieve while programming, I achieve while writing, with one major added benefit: emotion. For the Colter Sons Series, as I listen to my playlist (not quite as loudly as when I’m programming), I’ll come across a song and I think to myself, that’s this character’s theme song. I’ve started adding one or two songs to my character profiles (the document where I track everything about the character). So, if I’m having a hard time feeling or thinking like that character, I skip to one of the songs that I identified as a theme song for that character.


What really surprised me, is while I’m at the day job programming and one of my character’s theme song plays, I think about that character or even get a little nostalgic about him while I’m churning out code. I’m like, “Oh, poor Sam. Always the dependable one that feels like he’s in the shadows. I just love Sam!”


The other change to my writing process is the change to first-person point of view instead of third-person. For the Colter Sons Series, I’m writing both the hero and heroine’s points of view in the first-person. Don’t worry, I handle it in a way that keeps it clear which character is the main character of the chapter. One of the things I’m loving about this approach is that it results in a deeper point of view and richer characters. It helps me, as the writer to put on the character, get in his or her mindset, and get in touch with his or her emotions in a deeper way.


So, bark away Daisy Mae! I won’t hear you over the music or because I’m deep in character. But, if you bring me a toy, I’ll still take a break to play with you or give you belly rubs.

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