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"Magic comes from what is inside you. It is part of you. You can't weave together a spell you don't believe in." - Jim Butcher

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Move Your Pen to the Music

I have finally added a Writing Prompt to my website, and I figured it would be a good idea to post it on my blog as well. Just follow the link to find any Tips & Prompts I've written up in the past (only one past Tip at this time and the new Prompt).

I have a general update on what's going on with me below the Prompt. ;)


Writing Prompt #1 - Move Your Pen to the Music

Music effects people in different ways--it can be an emotional experience for some. For me, music has always been connected to my writing. Certain songs inspire images that come alive in my mind. A kernel of a story can blossom from a melody or lyrics. For short stories, I usually play a song or two on repeat that I feel has the mood of what I'm writing. Novels, I create an entire soundtrack.

I know, not everyone uses music in their writing, but I still suggest trying the following exercise. If anything, it will get you in touch with the emotion you need to infuse in your writing.

Pick two songs. One should be slow, without words--a classical song would likely be a good choice. The other should have more of an edge to it, can have words, be more fast paced--an alternative rock song, for example. If you do not own any of these styles of music, there are many options for radio stations on the internet.

First, listen to the classical song, and write. It doesn't matter what you write about. There doesn't need to be a plot or even a character. Let the sound of the music wash over you and write something that reflects how you currently feel. Keep going until the end of the song. Next, listen to the alternative rock song, and do the same thing. Allow the music to worm its way into your bones and release those emotions out onto the page.

Now, you have two starts (or maybe middles or ends) of something. Take a close look and compare the two. Did you have a different emotional reaction to each song? Your words should represent the mood you felt when listening to those songs.

If you can see a difference, then you've discovered a way to get yourself into a certain frame of mind depending on what you're writing. Even if you can't write to music, you can always listen to it right before you dive into that novel or short story to get your emotions percolating.

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I hope some people find the Prompt helpful. =)

So, I've been sick since last Friday. This has delayed many things on my scary To Do list. I haven't worked on Dead As Dreams since last Wednesday! Here's hoping I feel well enough this weekend to churn some more words out. My goal is to finish the current chapter I'm working on. After that, I have a first draft of a short story that needs writing. I am going to try my hand at writing a story to submit to the Speakeasy anthology. I've done some research already and have a basic idea of my main character, so we'll see how it goes. =D

I've also started the readings for my class. This term I am taking Horror Readings: Monsters. It will be a fun jaunt, looking at the reading list. I am currently reading I Am Legend. This likely means that after this post, my blog will be taken over by class essays. It's a good thing, though. This means tons of content and all about writing--well, at least discussing published novels and short stories (a couple movies too)!

So, if you only see essays and no status updates until December, don't be surprised. You can always watch my Twitter feed as far as my writing progress goes, and perhaps I'll tweet more often about other things going on.

Oh, I updated my website, if you didn't figure that out from the Writing Prompt post. I hope to keep the "What I'm Reading" on the Home page updated consistently, since I'll be reading a lot!

Happy writing, all! =)

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