Saturday, July 28, 2012

Music and writing.

For me music is as important in my life as reading or writing. I was lucky enough that my mother raised me around all types of music so my taste has always been quite eclectic. In fact as I write this blog my head phones are sending out "Slow Ride" by Foghat and just a few seconds earlier my foot was taping to "Some Nights" by Fun. I am just as happy playing one of Adele's heart-tugging ballads as I am Korn's rhythmic rock. Music is another escape, it allows us to tap into our emotions and vividly explore our own mind with an awesome sound track.

As far as my writing goes music actually plays a big part. The first and biggest area I use music is brain storming. If I'm not pacing around doing my best impression of a hamster wheel powered idea machine, I have some kind of music playing, generating images for me to pluck stories from. Maybe it's "O Fortuna", helping my mind paint a battlefield of armor clad combatants as they look across an overcast stretch of earth preparing to give their lives in service of their kingdom. Or it could be Katy Perry's "Wide Awake", allowing me find a character pulling herself up from a failed relationship to find her strength and move forward. It could be the rhythm of a good beat, the flow of violins, the whine of an electric guitar or vivid lyrics, all of these help the churning chaos that is my mind focus and find things. 

As far as actually writing to music things are slightly different. I have seen interviews where author's have said they can't have any sound at all, others have said no music is allowed while they write, and some enjoy music only if it has no lyrics. I myself love to have music playing while I write, with some exceptions. If the song's front focus is lyrics, like many rap and hip hop songs are, I tend to focus too heavily on what they are saying and it pulls me from what I'm trying to say. Most of the time I find a playlist of stuff I put together before hand and play it at low volume letting it fade to the back of my mind. This is something that works for me, it helps me focus and when my mind starts to wander, the music can help me stay in a creative mood. Anyway I hope some of you aspiring writers give it a shot, it isn't for everyone, but for those of us that it works it is a great writing tool.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ah, to query.

When I finished my manuscript I wasn't sure of the steps needed in getting my baby to someone that would give it wings so it could fly out to all those readers just waiting to read it. If I'm honest I naively thought I could send out my manuscript in full and have someone just fall in love with it. The truth is there just isn't time, it is much easier for an agent(or assistant) to read through a shorter version, think Hollywood pitch, of your story idea.

So when asking how important a query letter is, the answer is simply, very. I struggled with the idea of taking something I worked on for almost a year and condensing it down to a page or two of coherent, intriguing text. I in fact started to hate the idea of a query letter, but the truth is it can be done. I have sent out versions of my letter and was nice enough to get a few critiques along the way. These, while disheartening at first, have helped me refine and spice up what I'm trying to say to the agent or publisher I'm sending it to. It's the foot in the door every new author needs to become published and as such I wish anyone at this stage in their writing as much luck as I hope wished back to me.

Here are a few links to sites I've found helpful toward building the perfect query.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


So as an aspiring writer I have found that one of my biggest problems is procrastination. There are so many things my mind tries to make me do besides sit down and write. I have to feed the dogs, make sure the kids are alright, chase after a cricket, decide what color the sky actually is. You know the normal stuff. One of the ways I combat this is by giving my mind something interesting to focus on, so I have created a nerd station and have begun collecting things that will keep my mind busy and my butt in the chair. Here are a few pictures.

So Blogging...

I guess the main question is why now. I have been aware of blogs for quite a while, but have never started one. It‘s actually funny it has taken me so long since one of my favorite activities is writing, in fact it is writing that has led me finally to create my own blog. I finished my first novel, I have been working on it for some time now and after several revisions and query letters sent I feel ready to try and get this thing published. A daunting task that I have undertook simply because I must write. It is in me and I never feel quite as complete as when I am letting the words flow out onto a blank page. So I guess all of this is to say I am starting a journey and maybe having a few people to tell about it wouldn't be so bad.