I’ve had a long week and I’m tired. I have hit all my running goals this week, plus added in PIYO on the off-days.
Trying to do too many things at one time. Couple that with not liking my options and it is easy to drop it out of my priority list.
I have been busy at work (not really,) which has taken away some time to do other things I enjoy. Besides, it was way too nice outside this week to get anything done inside.
It’s after 11 pm on Thursday night and I want to sleep and haven’t written the blog post yet.
I don’t feel like writing (that is a thing that must be constantly fought against.) Hopefully, I will feel like it this weekend. I have made very little progress on my short story this week, and honestly, I should have finished it by now.
I can write when its quiet. I can sort of write when the television or streaming device is playing. I can write when I am in a public space and its not horribly loud. I am pretty damned good at tuning this out (Just ask my wife.) But if I have my druthers I like to listen to music when I write. Here are 5 of my favorites in no particular order.
Soundtracks are great, especially science fiction movies or adventure movies. My favorite of all time is Tron Legacy by Daft Punk. I listen to this pretty regularly. Pirates of the Caribbean are all pretty good. Ironman soundtracks are also great. If you are doing horror I would recommend the Diablo game soundtracks.
Playlists are also great. I made a bunch back in the day when I started using iTunes. One of my favorites in one with Alterbridge, Breaking Benjamin and Three Days Grace. I listened to this a lot when I wrote my first novel, so it has become a nostalgia thing now.
Build your own playlist for that project. I haven’t really done this all the way. I’ve started a couple of times but never really finished it. I have done like a soundtrack for the movie that might be made. That is always fun. But building the soundtrack takes considerable time, time I would rather use actually writing in most cases.
Pandora is good for music if you don’t have anything particular in mind. I like Bread Radio for 70s stuff and Talk Talk Radio for 80s stuff. I have a bunch of other stations, too.
Spotify is unbelievable. I can pick from so many things. Songs or Albums or playlists or a particular band or even a mood. My son in law made some really great playlists. I have been listening to a lot of 311 recently. Radiohead really works for me. It is eclectic enough that it doesn’t distract me.
Pride in a job done well. It’s amazing when you write a passage that really sings. I wouldn’t call it a muse thing or being struck by lightning, but craft, at its best. You have managed to really get into the head of your character and moment happens that shines on the page. We all aspire to that constantly, but truth be told it simply doesn’t. I read a book by Lisa Cron, Wired for Story, and she talks about how good prose are wonderful but the real trick is telling a good story. So, it’s not hugely important to be able to write amazing prose to be a successful writer, but you do have to be able to convey story well. All that said, it’s still a joy to write a good scene.
Magic. There are moments when you write when magic happens. You are in the head of your character and you have a fence post you are traveling towards, assuming you have even a sketchy outline, and then the character goes in a completely different direction than you had planned. You didn’t see it coming, but it works even better. Those are the moments we all write for. It makes for more work potentially, because now you may have to replan the outline, but let me tell you, it is worth it. It happens with free-writing as well, when you characters do something that surprises you.
First of all, our school systems do a poor job of teaching English. It basically makes people hate studying the language and how to write it better. Grammar? Bleh. How do you get past this? People still write, but it seems like most of those people do so because they can’t stop themselves. I wonder how many more people would be writing if they weren’t made to hate it in High School. When I decided to take it seriously, I had a lot of education to undertake. It spurred me to get a Master’s degree, simply to fill in the gaping potholes in my skillset. I still ended up taking an undergraduate class in grammar. I enjoyed it actually. No really.
Part of my ongoing thing on Thursdays to revisit some of the older posts that are still valid. This one dates back to Nov 22, 2011.*
I read Chuck Wendig’s 25 things that will make me keep reading your story and it made me think, I have WAAAAAYYY more things that will make me STOP reading your story (Okay, I might have overstated that, it’s only 5 things). And of course he posts about that very thing this morning. ARRRRGGH! Anyway, not to copy, but I had this idea in my head, so I’m going with it.
If I see a blurb that I like or a nice cover or get a recommendation from one of my friends, I will pick up your book and give it a fair shake. Unlike Chuck, I’m not standing in the doorway with a gun in your face waiting to not like it. If I’ve gotten as far as cracking the cover and reading the first page I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt. I want to like it. But there are a few things that will make me drop your book like a hot rock, or hot potato or anything hot. You get the idea. Here we go: Continue reading →