Friday, December 30, 2011

On Music

I'm probably just the latest in a long line of writers to tell you that music can be pretty key to creative process.  I've always got music going when I'm writing (except at work, where my iPod has been banned for no reason other than someone else's ego).  But not just any music.

The right music.

I listen to a lot of film scores, and usually action film scores at that.  Loud, propulsive music really gets me going.  The juices don't just flow, they're a raging river of creativity.  My hands fly over the keyboard like they're possessed, sometimes even to the rhythm of the music.

Right now as I'm posting this, I've just finished two movie reviews over at For Reelz, and I've got the score from "Thor" by Patrick Doyle going on the speakers in the living room and I find it incredibly liberating. 

Film scores in general I find to be a genre of music that allows me to focus.  When I'm writing, I'm dealing with words, and lyrics often get in my way.  Unless I've managed to hone in on a particular band or song that seems to fit with whatever I'm writing, I get distracted by the voice of the singer or the lyrics of the song.

The novel I'm writing originally stemmed from an idea that involved building an action movie out of Alice in Chains songs - sort of like "Across the Universe" but for 90s grunge rock.  As the idea evolved and I eventually settled on writing it as a novel, the Alice in Chains aspect of it dropped away, and now even listening to that band distracts me from writing it.

When I'm done with this post, I plan to get back to business on my novel and only break up that work this afternoon with necessary trips to the basement to do laundry.

Laundry, as it turns out, like music, is also pretty key.

Current Soundtrack
"Thor" by Patrick Doyle

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Getting started is hard on the knees

So now that I've put out this collection of stories (again, with other formats coming soon) I've also begun work on a novel.  It's not my first novel, which may come as a surprise to some people.  No, when I was a wee teenager, I got it in my head that I should write, of all things, a 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' novel.

How prophetic.


It was a pretty terrible novel, I can admit that.  Actually, let me take that back; I was really proud of the story that I had come up with, but I'm sure that if I read it now, it would just reek of amateur hour nonsense.  The basic plot had to do with (sigh) vampires invading the Federation.  Of course, only the crew of the Starship Enterprise could stop it!  Anyway there was a whole thing where there was actually this vampire cloud in an episode of the original 'Star Trek' series, and I postulated that this cloud was, in fact, the origin of vampire myths around the galaxy and there was lots of cool stuff going on with fighting vampires and fighting... vampire clouds... Whatever, it was cool.  Trust me.

So now, now I'm working on a real novel.  Y'know, one that I can publish for real.  Not just 120,000 words of fan fiction.

But it turns out that writing a novel is like really hard, man.  Part of my problem is that my writing style is typically very stream-of-consciousness.  I tend to just sit down, start writing, and see where it goes from there.  I also have developed what seems to be an aversion to second drafts.  I don't like going back and revising things.  This caused lots of problems in school when I was forced to produce a second draft of a paper, when I felt very comfortable with the first draft and felt no need to change it.

Writing a novel, on the other hand, is a different beast than a five page paper, or a 7,000 word short story.  I'm forced to create what they tell me is called an "outline" and even that isn't very structured.  My impatience has led me to write approximately 6,000 words of this novel before the outline is even finished.  I don't like planning; I'm not a planner.  I like to just write.  But if doing all this extra work helps me put out a more cohesive novel, then so be it.

By the way, I've already written the last line of the novel.  I'm not going to tell you what it is, even though lots of people like to read the last page of the book first.  (Weirdos)

Current Soundtrack:
"Fast & Furious" by Brian Tyler


Well, here we are.

If you've come here from my other blog, For Reelz, then hello again.  Over at For Reelz, I've blogged (a lot) about movies and TV shows.  Over at my first blog, Olympus Mans, I blogged about random silliness and drew cartoons about conversations I had with a former roommate.

Here, though, is something a little different.  You see, I recently decided that I was wasting my life.  Well, that wasn't really a recent decision... Anyway, I think the recent decision was that I was finally going to do something about it. 

So over the last two months I gathered up some of the short stories I'd written in the last few years and put them all together in a book.  It's an eBook, currently available for the Amazon Kindle.  Of course, I can't stop there.  What serious writer would?  I'm not one of those weird recluses who publishes a single tome and then lapses into obscurity, growing out my fingernails and keeping urine in jars... or whatever.

Nope, I'm going to keep writing.  And after I've done a bunch of that, I'm going to publish it.  Now that my first eBook is out there (with other formats soon to follow), I'm working steadily on my first novel.  Ambitious?  Maybe.  Doable?


So welcome to My Insane Ramblings.  

Current Soundtrack:
"Fast Five" by Brian Tyler